Beauty out of the Ashes

Aaron Douglas. Cover Illustration for Fire!!  Devoted to Younger Negro Artists, ed. Wallace Thurman. New York, 1926..

March 1, 2023.

Professors Ronald D. Patkus, Eve Dunbar, and Caroline Culp discuss their current exhibition in the Thompson Memorial Library, Beauty out of the Ashes: Printed Works of the Harlem Renaissance, 1923-1936, on view through June 15, 2023.

A key focus of the exhibition is the literary production of the Harlem Renaissance. Works of thirteen different authors are presented. Together they provide a window into some of the key aspects of authorship during the Harlem Renaissance. At the same time, it’s also important to note that the exhibition considers not only texts, but also art, since the first editions of these works often included artwork on the dust jackets or within the book itself. By studying not just texts but also physical books, we gain a sense of the visual nature of published works, and thus a wider understanding for how works of the Harlem Renaissance were presented to their reading audience.



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