Artists by Movement:
early 1920's to 1930's
The Harlem Renaissance
The Harlem Renaissance was a flowering of African-American social thought that was expressed through the visual arts, as well as through music (Louis Armstrong, Eubie Blake, Fats Waller and Billie Holiday), literature (Langston Hughes, Zora Neale Hurston, and W.E.B. DuBois), theater (Paul Robeson) and dance (Josephine Baker). Centered in the Harlem district of New York City, the New Negro Movement (as it was called at the time) had a profound influence across the United States and even around the world.
The intellectual and social freedom of the era attracted many Black Americans from the rural south to the industrial centers of the north - and especially to New York City.
Artists at the core of the Harlem Renaissance movement included William H. Johnson, Lois Mailou Jones and the sculptor and printmaker Sargent Claude Johnson. Other prominent artists associated with the Harlem Renaissance included Jacob Lawrence, Archibald Motley and Romare Bearden.
Later artists influenced by the movement included Charles Sebree, Hale Woodruff, Beauford Delaney, John Biggers and Ernie Barnes (Barnes' Sugar Shack is the now-famous painting featured on the closing credits of the TV show Good Times).
Artists closely associated with the Harlem Renaissance are listed below. Or click here for a list of all African-American artists in our database.