Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist
March 7–August 31, 2015
Chicago Cultural Center, Sidney R. Yates Gallery, 4th Floor South
The FREE exhibition Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist celebrates twentieth-century American artist Archibald J. Motley, Jr. (1891-1981) and reveals his continued impact on art history. While considered a major contributor to the Harlem Renaissance, Motley never lived in New York but rather played that role from Chicago – his home for most of his life.
This full-scale survey of 42 remarkable paintings chronicles the African-American experience, including life in Chicago’s Bronzeville, and gives a radical interpretation of urban culture of the Jazz Age 1920s and 1930s. Spanning 40 years and representing various periods of his lifelong career, the exhibition also includes his noteworthy canvases of Jazz Age Paris and 1950s Mexico, as well as works that address slavery and racism.
Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist at the Chicago Cultural Center is presented by the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events and programmed by Columbia College Chicago. The exhibition originated at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and was curated by Dr. Richard J. Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art and Art History at Duke. Grant support to the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events provided by the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University and the Terra Foundation for American Art. Support to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art; the National Endowment for the Humanities: Exploring the human endeavor; and the Henry Luce Foundation; and the Wyeth Foundation for American Art.
March 6, 5:30–9pm
Through an innovative collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, Columbia College Chicago is launching a series of performances, curricula and programming on this modern master. From spoken word to jazz choreography, Columbia College Chicago faculty, students and staff will engage the historic context of Motley’s era, paying tribute to the artist’s innovation and determination. The themes of his work—identity, migration and social change—will be central to all of the contemporary performances and programs throughout the city. For more information, visit www.Colum.edu/motley.
March 10, April 14, May 12, June 9, July 14 & Aug. 11, 12:15pm
Sidney R. Yates Gallery, 4th Floor North
Full schedule of public and education programs is available at colum.edu/motley.
(Photo credit: James Prinz Photography)