Photo credits: illustrationhistory.org
Archibald John Motley (pictured) was a Chicagoan who devoted his profession to portraying the boisterous universe of the town’s “Black Belt,” which was a vivacious region. This took place at Chicago’s South Side locality of Bronzeville well-known for its melody and nightspot.
Motley laboriously concentrated on African Americans for the matters of exquisite depictions and vigorous brand illustrations. This was during the time Black Americans were seldom delineated in artwork with any pessimistic implications excluded from the 1920s to the 1940s. This was also amassing praise in the widely white craft globe expeditiously.
Motley went to the School of the Art Institute. His association with the institution was a substantial-quality for him as a growing craftsman.
A trip to the exhibition’s showroom was a setting he encountered Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks. This would impel Motley to seek different means of portraying synthetic lighting on the paint illustration he possesses in his profession long term.
Chicago has faced various most severe race-related brutality in historical times throughout the 1919 nations rampage. The escalated tenseness persuaded Motley that he must utilize his artwork to make an impact on the impression of Black Americans in an optimistic approach.
“Artists feel that they’re more readily recognized in Europe than they are here in America. Well, me, I’m just a funny kind I’m telling you. I decided and I made up my mind. I said I’m going to stay here. I’m not going anywhere. I’m not going to Europe. They’re not going to chase me out of my own country. I’m an American. I’m proud of being an American. I don’t give a damn what color my skin is. I’m going to stay right here and I’m going to fight it out, and I’m going to make my name right here. I’m staying right here in wonderful America. And I love Chicago,” Motley said.
Archibald John Motley was born on October 7, 1891 in New Orleans, Louisiana. At the age of 89, he died on January 16, 1981, in Chicago, Illinois.
Archibald John Motley Jr… The Art Institute of Chicago. (n.d.). Retrieved October 7,
2021, from https://www.artic.edu/artists/42445/archibald-john-motley-jr.