New Negro Movement Essay
This artistic movement was pioneered by many influential artists who celebrated their blackness through this medium. Aaron Douglas (1899-1979) was primarily known for the emotional appeal of his pieces. A leading artist during the Harlem Renaissance, his art clearly represented his African heritage through the geometric shapes (some of which rivaled the structures of African masks) as well as references to traditional dances. His personal styles soon came to be known as Afro Cubism. Through personal experience in the urban Harlem life, his pieces-- primarily murals -- came to depict the hottest spots in Black New York. They spoke to his peers’ desire for political and social respect. His most popular series, Aspects of Negro Life (1934) did just that; it depicts silhouettes (presumed to be African American) in many recurring themes of slavery, racism, and the celebration of the rebirth of their culture.
Similarly, Lois Mailou Jones (1905-1998) was not only a respected artist, but also a renowned professor at Howard University and an international ambassador for artists. Although her styles ranged from ethnic to traditional landscapes, her popularity really surged in the 30s with her traditional African themes. Her painting The Ascent of Ethiopia (1932) explored African life in the contexts of skyscrapers and American life. Jones made use of very vibrant and celebratory colors while portraying masks and African people on the road to