The Portraits

Staff member working in collections and putting a painting away

Aaron Douglas

Artist
Betsy Graves Reyneau, 1888 - 1964
Sitter
Aaron Douglas, 26 May 1899 - 2 Feb 1979
Date
1953
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
116.8cm x 76.2cm (46" x 30"), Accurate
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Harmon Foundation
Restrictions & Rights
© Peter Edward Fayard
Object number
NPG.67.81
Culture
Aaron Douglas: American\African American
Exhibition Label
The Harmon Foundation, a philanthropic organization based in New York City and active from (1922-1967) included this portrait in their exhibition “Portraits of Outstanding Americans of Negro Origins” which documented noteworthy African Americans’ contributions to the country. Modeling their goal of social equality, the Harmon sought portraits from an African-American artist, Laura Wheeler Waring and Euro-American artist, Betsy Graves Reyneau. The two painters followed the conventional codes of academic portraiture, seeking to convey their sitters extraordinary accomplishments. This painting, along with a variety of educational materials, toured nation-wide for ten years serving as a visual rebuttal to racism.
Provenance
Harmon Foundation; gift 1967 to NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection