Sun December 8, 2019 - Sun March 1, 2020

Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite

Brathwaite was a key figure in the second Harlem Renaissance and harnessed the power of art, music, and fashion to effect social change. He used his photography to popularize "Black Is Beautiful," now considered one of the most influential cultural movements of that era. Together with his brother, he founded two organizations central to his vision: the African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS) and Grandassa Models.

The exhibition features stunning portraits of jazz luminaries, including Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, and Miles Davis, and behind-the-scenes photographs of the black arts community in the 50s and 60s as well as a large number of really fantastic images of the Grandassa Models, a modeling troupe of local black women who embodied black nationalist beauty principles. In addition to Brathwaite's photographs of the models, the exhibition will display several garments worn during the wildly popular annual fashion shows at popular Harlem venues they organized, as well as a selection of ephemeral materials.

The exhibition is accompanied by the first-ever monograph dedicated to Brathwaite published by Aperture, May 2019.

Image credit: Kwame Brathwaite, Sikolo Brathwaite wearing a headpiece designed by Carolee Prince, African Jazz-Art Society & Studios (AJASS), Harlem, ca. 1968; from Kwame Brathwaite: Black Is Beautiful (Aperture, 2019)
Courtesy the artist and Philip Martin Gallery, Los Angeles
Brathwaite was a key figure in the second Harlem Renaissance and harnessed the power of art, music, and fashion to effect social change. He used his photography to popularize "Black Is Beautiful," now considered one of the most influential cultural movements of that era. Together...
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Date/Times:
  • Sun Dec 8 (12noon - 5pm)
  • Wed Dec 11 (11am - 6pm)
  • Thu Dec 12 (11am - 6pm)
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