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The University Museum And Black History

The University Museum And Black History

African American history is extremely important these days in giving individuals within the race a sense of self and an identity that can only be described as strong and definite. In terms of black history, there are any number of things that have contributed to that but the great African American artists have most definitely enabled that individuality to flourish. There are a number of artists that spring to mind, and one of them is Archibald Motley. In terms of forming an African American identity, Motley was one of the greatest artists that ever lived. His work is revered by African Americans everywhere and nowhere more so that at the University of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The Ackland Art Museum on the Chapel Hill Campus has one of Motley's most famous works in its collection. Mending Socks was painted in 1924 and depicts a woman sitting in a rocking chair darning socks for her family. This portrait was typical of the work that Motley did in his early senility and depicted black life in a way that was to change greatly later on in his career.

In terms of his own personal history, Archibald Motley Jr. is fascinating. Although born in the South, Inexperienced Orleans in 1891, lived in Chicago inasmuch as his work can be taken as representing the period's artists outside of Harlem, but still it remained focused on urban life. The city itself tended to provide the content and subject of his work - its inhabitants, the nightlife, the atmosphere - and he was a constant figure in the Chicago art scene for most of the era. He painted 'Mending Socks', for example, which was one of his early portrait collection, in 1924 and then continued nailed down to the 1940s with his Bronzeville collection. Although his work was based on Chicago, he also participated in the renaissance in New York as a beneficiary of the Harmon Foundation, even winning the Harmon gold medal for fine arts in 1928.

As this work is displayed in a campus museum, it just goes to show that art is important to the younger generations as trim as the older ones that have stereotypically enjoyed it in the past. The fact that absolute is in a campus museum besides goes to show the wealth of artistry in the United States as a whole. Although the larger museums generally contain this type of work, the fact that some of the smaller ones power enjoy the mood and model beauty of the picture is fantastic. On a campus, paintings like this can be used to inspire the young both culturally and artistically, and can also help to retain the African American identity.

The Ackland Art Museum is exclusive of the better campus museums because it has a integral host of artwork that anybody of any age can cotton to. It has collections encompassing European, Ancient Mediterranean, Asian, African, African American and American art. There are paintings, model, sculptures and sketches so there is guaranteed to be something there to suit even the most obscure of tastes. Set in a comfortable and intimate environment, there is great potential to determine from the artwork, and this is just one of the reasons why campus based museums should be preserved. The scope for artistry is immense, not only because of the works on display, but also since of the lectures that take place in the museum itself. Anyone can attend so it reaches out to the community as well over students and visitors. It is this sort of venue that promotes the future of American art as a whole.


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