I, Too, Sing America

On View October 19, 2018 – January 20, 2019

I, Too, Sing America: The Harlem Renaissance at 100 celebrates the 100th anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance, a cultural movement that resonated well beyond the geographic boundaries of the New York neighborhood in which it was born. This original exhibition and its accompanying book are the culmination of decades of research by guest curator and Columbus native Wil Haygood, who has written award-winning biographies of 20th-century Harlem figures Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Sammy Davis Jr., Sugar Ray Robinson, and Thurgood Marshall. In addition to notable paintings by Elizabeth Catlett, Aaron Douglas, Jacob Lawrence, and many more, the exhibition presents rarely seen photographs by James Van Der Zee, as well as, hundreds of vernacular photographs from an outstanding private collection. A selection of books, music, films, and posters from the period further showcases the innovative and expansive cultural output produced in Harlem and elsewhere. The range of works sheds light on the ways in which artists, writers, filmmakers, and performers transformed contemporary representations of black experience in America.

[Image: Allan Rohan Crite, School’s Out, 1936. Oil on canvas, 30 1/4 x 36 1/8 in. (76.9 x 91.8 cm.). Smithsonian American Art Museum,Transfer from General Services Administration]