WILLIAM H. JOHNSON
Aaron Douglas Gallery (Fisk University) / 1000 17th Ave. N., 3rd Floor of the John Hope and Aurelia Franklin Library August 1, 2017 - September 30, 2017
William H. Johnson
This exhibition brings together works by William H. Johnson donated by the Harmon Foundation in 1967. The Harmon Foundation was a driving force for the promotion of Harlem Renaissance artists. Founded by white real-estate developer William E. Harmon in New York City in 1922, the Harmon highlighted African-American artistic achievements with exhibitions and annual awards with cash prizes. Harmon Foundation Awards for Distinguished Achievement among Negroes offered accolades in literature, music, fine arts, business and industry, science and innovation, education, religious service, and race relations; the aim was to “assist in the development of a greater economic security for the race.” The Harmon’s promotion of African-American fine art made a profound impact on black American cultural life in the 20th century and influenced a generation of artists. Indeed, the Harmon propelled the careers of a number of artists included in the gift to Fisk University when it closed its doors in 1967. 50 years on, Fisk University Galleries celebrates the extraordinary works collected by the Harmon and artists supported by the Harmon, including William H. Johnson, Beauford Delaney, Hale Woodruff, James A. Porter, Malvin Gray Johnson, and James Lesesne Wells.