Past Event

Documenting the American Experience: 20th Century African American Painters

A Road Scholar Program by Rachel Ensor

This presentation examines the artwork of African American painters as documents containing social commentary about American life and issues faced by African Americans. At the beginning of the 20th century, many black artists addressed controversial social issues through their paintings. Rachel Ensor discusses the Harlem Renaissance, as well as the work and intentions of painters whose art depicted aspects of African American life. Learn about such artists as Palmer Hayden, Aaron Douglas, Romare Bearden, Betye Saar, and John Michel Basquiat, and explore how their art relates to the African American experience and urban life. What does the art tell us about the artists themselves, and race and identity in the US? This presentation will be supported with a continued reading list. Rachel Ensor holds an interdisciplinary PhD in History, Art History and Black Studies, from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is currently a lecturer in 20th Century American and African Diaspora History at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and was a 2007 NEH post Doctoral Fellow. Her research interests are African, African American, and 20th century American history and culture.

This event is Free and Open to the public. For more information, please contact Donna Hearn, 618.252.5400 x3213.