William Henry Johnson (American, 1901–1970). Woman in Blue

Source: Courtesy Clark Atlanta University Art Museum / Courtesy Clark Atlanta University Art Museum

The Met has announced a new upcoming exhibit and has engaged HBCUs to lend precious artwork and other assistance for it.

According to the New York Times, the museum announced in a press release that it would be putting on a new exhibition, The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism. The exhibit will feature artwork from the private collections of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Those institutions include the Howard University Gallery of Art, the Clark Atlanta University Art Museum, Fisk University Galleries, and Hampton University Art Museum.

The exhibition will feature works from the period’s vaunted artists and writers including C, Aaron Douglas, Meta Warrick Fuller, William H. Johnson, Charles Alston, Archibald Motley, Winold Reiss, Augusta Savage, James Van Der Zee, and Laura Wheeler Waring. 

Other institutions that will lend artwork to the exhibit include the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the National Portrait Gallery in addition to other European collections and private lenders. In addition, the Schomburg Center for Research and Black Culture is poised to make a loan to The Met. Additional financial funding will also be supplied by the aforementioned HBCUs. 

The exhibit, composed of 160 works that include paintings, film, sculptures, and photographs, “will explore the comprehensive and far-reaching ways in which Black artists portrayed everyday modern life in the new Black cities that took shape in the 1920s–40s in New York City’s Harlem and nationwide in the early decades of the Great Migration when millions of African Americans began to move away from the segregated rural South” according to the release.

The Met said that this exhibition will be the “first art museum survey of the subject” in New York City in over 40 years. For curator Denise Murrell, the exhibit is the realization of a longtime dream of hers to celebrate the “radical modernity” of the Harlem Renaissance. “In terms of historical context, this is the first time in art history where we have a cohort of African American artists depicting modern Black life in a modern way,” she said.

The Harlem Renaissance and Transatlantic Modernism will make its debut on February 25th, 2024, and run until July 28th, 2024.

The Met To Borrow Art From HBCUs For Upcoming Exhibit  was originally published on

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