Archibald Motley: Jazz Age Modernist at Whitney Museum of American Art, October 2, 2015 – January 17, 2016

“Archibald Motley offers a fascinating glimpse into a modernity filtered through the colored lens and foci of a subjective African American urban perspective. Fusing psychology, a philosophy of race, upheavals of class demarcations, and unconventional optics, Motley’s art wedged itself between, on the one hand, a Jazz Age set of iconographic cultural passages, and on the other hand, an American version of Weimar Germany.” — Richard J. Powell, John Spencer Bassett Professor of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, Dean of Humanities at Duke University and curator of exhibition

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Entrance photo by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary

Painting titled "Self-Portrait (Myself at Work)" by Archibald J. Motley, Jr., 1933. Oil on canvas. Motley depicts himself working on a painting of a nude.

Archibald J. Motley Jr (1891-1981). Self-Portrait (Myself at Work), 1933. Oil on canvas, 57.125 x 45.25 inches (145.1 x 114.9 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy Whitney Museum

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“Portraits and Archetypes” section. Photo by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary

Painting titled "Mulatress with Figurine and dutch Seascape" by Archibald Motley, Jr.; 1920

Mulatress with Figurine and Dutch Seascape, c. 1920. Oil on canvas, 31.375 x 27.625 inches (79.7 x 75.6 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy Whitney Museum

Painting titled "Portrait of a Woman on a Wicker Settee" by Archibald J. Motley, Jr. ; 1919

Portrait of a Woman on a Wicker Settee, 1931. Oil on canvas, 38 3/4 x 31 1/4 inches (98.4 x 79.4 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy the Chicago History Museum. © Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy Whitney Museum

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“Portraits and Archetypes” section. Photo by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary

Painting titled "Nude (Portrait of My Wife)" by Archibald J. Motley, Jr., 1930. Oil on canvas.

Nude (Portrait of My Wife), 1930. Oil on canvas, 48 1/4 × 23 1/2 in. (122.6 × 59.7 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy the Chicago History Museum. © Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy Whitney Museum

"Portrait of Mrs. A. J. Motley, Jr." by Archibald J. Motley, Jr., 1930. Oil on canvas.

Portrait of Mrs. A.J. Motley, Jr., 1930. Oil on canvas, 39 1/2 × 32 in. (100.3 × 81.3 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy the Chicago History Museum. © Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy Whitney Museum

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Left: “Paris Blues” section. Right: “Nights in Bronzeville” section. Photo by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary

Painting titled "Caf̩, Paris" by Archibald J. Motley, Jr., 1929. Oil on canvas. Interior of a caf̩ in Paris, France.

Café, Paris, 1929 Oil on canvas 23 5/8 × 28 7/8 in. (60 × 73.3 cm) Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy Whitney Museum

Painting "Blues" by Archibald J. Motley, Jr., 1929. View of the interior of the Petite Cafe, Paris, France. This cafe was popular with expatriate Africans and West Indians. Oil on canvas.

Blues, 1929. Oil on canvas, 36 x 42 inches (91.4 x 106.7 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy Whitney Museum

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“Nights in Bronzeville” section. Photo by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary

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“Nights in Bronzeville” section. Photo by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary

Painting titled "Gettin' Religion" by Archibald J. Motley, Jr., 1948. Oil on canvas. Bronzeville street scene at night, Chicago, Illinois.

Gettin’ Religion, 1948. Oil on canvas, 40 x 48.375 inches (101.6 x 122.9 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy of the Chicago History Museum, Chicago, Illinois. © Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy Whitney Museum

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“Between Acts” section. Photo by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary

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“Hokum” section. Photo by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary

Painting "Tongues (Holy Rollers)" by Archibald J. Motley, Jr., 1929. Oil on canvas. View of a church meeting in rural Arkansas.

Café, Paris, 1929. Oil on canvas, 23 5/8 × 28 7/8 in. (60 × 73.3 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy the Chicago History Museum. © Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy Whitney Museum

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“Caliente” section. Photo by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary

Painting titled "Hot Rhythm" by Archibald J. Motley, Jr., 1961. Interior of a crowded club featuring jazz musicians and dancers.

Hot Rhythm, 1961. Oil on canvas, 40 × 48 3/8 in. (101.6 × 122.9 cm). Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy the Chicago History Museum. © Valerie Gerrard Browne. Image courtesy Whitney Museum

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The First One Hundred Years: He Amongst You Who is Without Sin Shall Cast the First Stone; Forgive Them Father For They Know Not What They Do, c. 1963–72 Oil on canvas 48 7/8 × 40 3/4 in. (124.1 × 103.5 cm) Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne. Photo by Corrado Serra for Arts Summary