From Slavery Through Reconstruction

Aspects of Negro Life: From Slavery Through Reconstruction, 1934, Oil on Canvas, 57x138 inches. Art and Artifacts Division, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox and Tilden Foundations.

The figures are primarily silhouettes some with baskets of cotton, others with broken chains on their wrists, others in union uniforms. There is also somebody  playing a horn. The background and foreground are composed of circles of colors which function to unite the image and to account for the fact that the subject of the painting is represented as moving through time from slavery to freedom.  


anabbb said...

The Aaron Douglas painting of From Slavery Through Reconstruction shows undeniable images of unity and reconstruction in the lives of African Americans, as a new era starts to develop, and freedom seems to prevail momentarily. Aaron Douglas is known for his illustrations of African American culture and heritage, tracing back from Egypt times. I am indeed in appreciation of the colors in this painting, I love the silhouettes of the people, as well as the different movements that can be drawn from the painting. You can most definitely see the freedom and the rise of a new beginning, you can feel and maybe here the sounds of the people from looking at this painting. I am mostly fascinated by the spirit and the influence and motivation behind it. The fact that most African Americans came to this country by force and slavery, the journey was nothing short to black people and the struggle they when through. Black people were first slaves in this country, and than discriminated and even threatened towards their culture and their race, misunderstood and belittled by the rich white owners of this country. It has been a journey and a long one, a battle that is still consciously being fought today. My interpretation of this painting is simply this: that black people then and today are reconstructing a new life and a new idea, that freedom and equality is to one day be accepted in the mind and life of all.

Michele Wallace said...

Very well done.