Archibald Motley: Black Belt (1000 pieces)

Archibald Motley: Black Belt (1000 pieces)


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Archibald J. Motley Jr. (American, 1891–1981) Black Belt, 1934

Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood is alive with Jazz Age glam in Archibald Motley’s Black Belt. Born in New Orleans, Motley attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He went on to win awards and fellowships, painted for the Works Progress Administration, and became a university instructor. He was a modernist who looked to the old masters, and a portraitist who painted genre scenes. Motley sought social change through works that he hoped would speak across racial divides—depicting the diversity of black experiences, portraying intersecting social classes, and drawing from highly recognizable cinematic techniques. Through these, he painted modern American life. With subjects ranging from fine art, nature, and architecture to humor, the metaphysical, and more, 

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