Alive Soul
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Alive Soul

The night is beautiful, So the faces of my people. The stars are beautiful, So the eyes of my people. Beautiful, also, is the sun. Beautiful, also, are the souls of my people. -Langston Hughes

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Palmer Hayden, Artist

By 1940 Palmer Hayden was known for his narrative scenes of New York’s urban life and the rural South. Like a photographer taking snapshots, he depicted black subjects during unguarded moments in their daily routine. His characterizations-sometimes humorous, sometimes unflattering-are nonetheless caring and proud. Described by Hayden’s compelling use of line, they possess the immediacy of popular illustrations.

Although the artist’s studio is a time-honored theme, Hayden’s intention in The Janitor Who Paints is more provocative than usual because he described it as a “protest painting” in a 1969 interview. An easel, palette, and brushes share space with a bed, nightstand, feather duster, and broom.  Read More

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Photos: Public Domain