Harmon foundation


An outreach entity in New York City to encourage artistic achievements of Black Americans, the Foundation was created in 1922 by William E Harmon (1862-1928). He was a Caucasion real-estate developer whose interest was in promoting not only the fine arts but accomplishments in business, education, farming, literature, music, race relations, religious service and science. In addition to serving as a patron of the arts entity, the Harmon Foundation flourished as a business that subsidized, marketed, and profited from its sales of African-American works of art. A 1944 Harmon Foundation exhibition, "Portraits of Outstanding Americans of Negro Origin,", had the goal of reversing racial intolerance by showing the accomplishments of contemporary African Americans. With entries by 148 artists, it opened at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC on May 2nd, and then traveled around the United States for the next ten years. The exhibition, the first one in America devoted to African-American painting, is credited with improving public perception of Black Americans. Participants included Archibald Motley, Aaron Douglas and Augusta Savage.http://www.npg.si.edu/exh/harmon/http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/exploring/harlem/faces/harmon_text.html

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