200 years of groundbreaking African American art – in pictures – The Guardian From Henry Ossawa Tanner, the first African American painter to move to Paris and be accepted into the Salon, to superstars of today like Kara Walker, here’s how generations of artists have tackled race, identity and prejudice


Represent: 200 Years of African American Art is at the Philadelphia Museum of Art from 10 January to 5 April.

Charles Willson Peale, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Aaron Douglas, Samuel Joseph Brown Jr, Jacob Lawrence, Horace Pippin, Beauford Delaney, Bob Thompson, Mary Taylor, John Woodrow Wilson, African American Art, African American Artist, Black Art, Black Artist, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, African American History, Black HistoryPhoto | The Deposition, Bob-Thompson (1961)

Charles Willson Peale, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Aaron Douglas, Samuel Joseph Brown Jr, Jacob Lawrence, Horace Pippin, Beauford Delaney, Bob Thompson, Mary Taylor, John Woodrow Wilson, African American Art, African American Artist, Black Art, Black Artist, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, African American History, Black HistoryPhoto | The Libraries Are Appreciated, Jacob Lawrence (1934)

Charles Willson Peale, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Aaron Douglas, Samuel Joseph Brown Jr, Jacob Lawrence, Horace Pippin, Beauford Delaney, Bob Thompson, Mary Taylor, John Woodrow Wilson, African American Art, African American Artist, Black Art, Black Artist, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, African American History, Black HistoryPhoto | No World, An Unpeopled Land In Uncharted Waters Series, Kara Walker (2010)

Charles Willson Peale, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Aaron Douglas, Samuel Joseph Brown Jr, Jacob Lawrence, Horace Pippin, Beauford Delaney, Bob Thompson, Mary Taylor, John Woodrow Wilson, African American Art, African American Artist, Black Art, Black Artist, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN, African American History, Black HistoryPhoto | Smoking Pipe, Samuel Joseph Brown (1934)



Samuel Brown received a Masters degree in Fine Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, and quickly established himself as an expert watercolorist. He had the distinction of being the first African American hired by the Public Works of Art Project (PWAP), the government’s initial work-relief program for the arts, and later, he worked for the WPA in Philadelphia as both a painter and printmaker. Brown’s small relief print, Fireplug, is also included in this exhibition. Here we are confronted by his large self-portrait, a deceptively complex composition that presents (improbably) both profile and ¾ views. While we look at him from these dual perspectives, the artist studies himself in the mirror, as his reflection, likewise, studies us. (The Met).