|Client||Harvard Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art:|
Lodged in the complex dynamics of early twentieth century mass migration and urban boom, Jazz and black Pentecostal religion entered an unlikely union, producing an “existential mentality” that blended religion, music, and nightlife in a living and breathing spirit of the city. The essay describes how Archibald J. Motley, a faithful renderer of the accelerated spirit of the age, draws parallels across these seemingly disparate environments via his paintings.
The piece was written as part of an exhibition “Art of Jazz: Form/Performance/Notes” organized in conjunction with the Harvard Art Museums, private collectors, the Studio Museum in Harlem, and two Manhattan galleries—DC Moore Gallery and Luhring Augustine Gallery. The exhibition, which was co-organized by the author, featured the pieces discussed in the essay, explored the intersection of jazz music and the visual arts.
“The Spirit Art of Jazz: Form/Performance/Notes of Archibald Motley’s Jazz Age: “Gettin’ Religion” in Urban America.” 2018. In David Bindman. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art: 19-23.