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Archibald Motley Jr. and Racial Reinvention – The Old Negro in New Negro Art - Illinois Scholarship Online
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Archibald Motley Jr. and Racial Reinvention: The Old Negro in New Negro Art

Phoebe Wolfskill


An essential African American artist of his era, Archibald Motley Jr. created paintings of black Chicago that aligned him with the revisionist aims of the New Negro Renaissance. Yet Motley’s approach to constructing a New Negro—a dignified figure both accomplished and worthy of respect—reflected the challenges faced by African American artists working on the project of racial reinvention and uplift. Phoebe Wolfskill demonstrates how Motley’s art embodied the tenuous nature of the Black Renaissance and the wide range of ideas that structured it. Focusing on key works in Motley’s oeuvre, Wolfski ... More

Keywords: Negro Renaissance, painting, Chicago, African American, black, race, reinvention, Old Negro, New Negro, Archibald Motley Jr.

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780252041143
Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2018 DOI:10.5622/illinois/9780252041143.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Phoebe Wolfskill, author
Indiana University