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Between and Mortarboard


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Lenox Avenue

Accession Number
1943.63

Title
Lenox Avenue

Artist(s)
Sargent Claude Johnson

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1938

Medium & Support
lithograph on paper

Dimensions
12 ½ in x 8 9/16 in (31.75 cm x 21.75 cm)

Credit Line
Allocated by the U.S. Government Commissioned through the New Deal art projects

Subject matter
Johnson, whose mother was Cherokee and African American, stated, "It is the pure American Negro I am concerned with, aiming to show the natural beauty and dignity in that characteristic lip and that characteristic hair, bearing and manner; and I wish to show that beauty not so much to the white man as to the Negro himself." His works often show African American features, as in this calm, graceful portrait, influenced by Cubism. Lenox Avenue, the title of the piece, is known as the heart of Harlem where a great deal of music was produced by African American artists. The piano keys along the side of the figure's head, and the movement of other lines are suggestive of a complex piece of music. Johnson completed several works of art for the Federal Arts Project in San Francisco, part of the New Deal. This print was allocated to UMMA by that program.
 

Physical Description
This is an abstract face of a figure looking to the right. The head is divided into compartments of varying textures by several straight lines. There are piano keys are on the left side of the head, and a cigarette at top left. 

Primary Object Classification
Print

Collection Area
Modern and Contemporary

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form.

Keywords
Abstract (fine arts style)
Musical instruments
New Deal
WPA
abstraction
face
faces (animal components)
modern and contemporary art
music
music (performing arts)
pianos

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& Author Notes

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