Why Legendary Artist, Palmer Hayden, Continued To Paint Black Stereotypes Despite Criticism

0 Posted by - May 4, 2021 - Black History, BLACK MEN, LATEST POSTS

Palmer Hayden was among the first artists to incorporate African design and subjects into his paintings. He came to prominence with his first award given to him being the first winner of the Harmon Foundation art competition. As stated in Harlem Stomp, “The majority of Hayden’s work, however, was typically centered on – American life, legends, and folk heroes. His canvases often portrayed Harlem Street life or recounted customs, love, and small town folks…”  Similar to William H. Johnson, Hayden was also criticized for portraying blacks in the negative stereotypes in which there culture was perceived in.  This is because he persisted on using minstrels in some of his art as a reminder “ that no matter how isolated there from white culture, blacks were performing for a white audience.”(Hills) This is relevant because during the Harlem Renaissance as blacks were coming together they were also trying to prove themselves to the white race to ensure that they were considered equal and that they were capable of meeting such “white standards. ‘


Based on this information, he incorporated many different aspects of culture and experience through his art. By doing so his art could be related to by other African Americans which brought them closer as a community in Harlem, but it also allowed “whites” to view the African American emotion, perceptions and thoughts in a more appealing, meaningful way in which without words was loudly expressed.  

“I paint what us Negroes, colored people, us Americans know. We’re a brand new race, raised and manufactured in the United States. I do like to paint 


what they did.”(Extraordinary People of The Harlem Renaissance, 225)

article found @https://sites.google.com/site/1920sart/the-harlem-renaissance/palmer-c-hayden

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