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Home >  Arts > African American Art

African American Art


African American art is a broad term describing the visual arts of the American black community. African American art has influenced by various cultural traditions, including those of Africa, Europe and the Americas. The traditional African American art forms include

  • The range of plastic arts,
  • Basket weaving,
  • Pottery
  • Woodcarving and painting.

The earliest African American artists were slave artisans working as

  • potters
  • blacksmiths,
  • cabinetmakers,
  • quilters
  • silver workers.

Here we can mention few names of the well-known portrait artists from the period of 1773–1887. Namely,

  • G.W. Hobbs,
  • William Simpson,
  • Robert M. Douglas Jr.,
  • Patrick Henry Reason,
  • Joshua Johnson and Scipio Moorhead.

There were no schools during this period in the United States where an African American artist could learn to paint. Patronage by some white families allowed for private tutorship in special cases.



After the Civil War, it became increasingly acceptable for African American created art and works to be exhibited in museums. All the artists increasingly produced works for this purpose.

Important collections of African American art include

  • the Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art,
  • the Paul R. Jones Collection of African American Art, and
  • the David C. Driskell Art collection.

To enhance your knowledge on African American Art visit our site India Crafts.