William E. Harmon Foundation
The Harmon Foundation was established in 1922 by William E. Harmon. It served as a large-scale patron of African-American art and helped gain recognition for African-American artists who otherwise would have remained largely unknown. Mary B. Brady was the director of the foundation from 1922 until its cessation in 1967.
The William E. Harmon Foundation award for distinguished achievement among Negroes was created in 1926. It was famously awarded for excellence in the visual arts, but actually was offered for achievement from many different fields for distinguished achievements among Negroes or in the cause of race relations. This helped art education programs grow in many areas. Among the many recipients of the awards were Hale Woodruff, Palmer Hayden, Archibald Motley (his winning piece was The Octoroon Girl), Countee Cullen and Langston Hughes.
In addition to the awards, the Foundation is also well known for the traveling exhibitions it sponsored. An annual Exhibition of the Work of Negro Artists, conceived by Mary Brady, was held in 1927 through 1931, 1933, and 1935, and featured "substantial prizes" together with gold, silver and bronze medals. According to Gates and Higginbotham, "...submissions in the fine arts category was the chief venue open to African American artists"
The Foundation lasted until 1967.
- Gates & Higginbotham, p. 3.
- Driskell p. 87
- Driskell, David C. (2001) The Other Side of Color: African American Art in the Collection of Camille O. and William H. Cosby, Jr. Pomegranate. ISBN 978-0-7649-1455-3
- Gates, Henry Louis & Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham (eds) (2009). Harlem Renaissance lives from the African American national biography. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 978-0-19-538795-7
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