Aaron Douglas


Early life:

Aaron Douglas was born May 26, 1899. As a child, Douglas loved to draw, and his mother would hang his pictures. His mother worked for the Malvane family, who knew art well. Aaron was also lucky because he was educated in that he studied fine arts at The University of Nebraska at Lincoln.


Douglas began to receive letters about Harlem and the lifestyle, so he decided to go there. Douglas met artist Winold Reiss through a friend and Reiss suggested that he do African art to show his racial pride. luckily, he met Albert Barnes, who had an African art collection to show him, which would influence his style. Douglas than provided illustrations for a book made by Reiss, a book that would be known as a defining book of The Harlem Renaissance.
After the book, Douglas was being requested everywhere, by magazines and by people. He painted a mural at a night club for 700 dollars, a lot of money at the time, and the painting was popular.After he became somewhat tired of the American scene, he and his wife moved to Paris by using his mural money. In Paris, he met Palmer Hayden who introduced him to Henry Tanner who was his idol as a boy.
Douglas returned home broke, but became active again. He became the first Presient of the Harlem Artists' Guild, so they could gain recognition for black artists in the WPA, which discriminated agaisnt blacks. Douglas became an even more important figure in black culture and in The Harlem Renaissance. Douglas would then die on February 2, 1979.

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