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Aaron Douglas - American Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Aaron Douglas (1899 - 1979)

Aaron Douglas studied at the University of Kansas before moving to New York in 1925 to work with Winold Reiss. He began his career by illustrating books for African American authors and publishing drawings in magazines. He also produced a number of large murals about black culture in Nashville and New York City. Because of these efforts, Douglas was one of the major forces behind the Harlem Renaissance at this time. He then traveled to Paris to study at the Academie Scandinave with Charles Despiau. After an extensive trip through the southern US and Haiti, Douglas returned to Nashville to teach at Fisk University. The style Aaron Douglas developed in the 1920s synthesized aspects of modern European, ancient Egyptian, and West African art. His best-known paintings are semi-abstract, and feature flat forms, hard edges, and repetitive geometric shapes. Bands of color radiate from the important objects in each painting, and where these bands intersect with other bands or other objects, the color changes.

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