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Richmond BarthAc (1909-1989) was the first modern African American sculptor to achieve real critical success. His accessible naturalism led to unprecedented celebrity for an artist during the 1930s and 1940s. After four years of academic training at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, BarthAc reaped the benefits of the 1920s New Negro Arts Renaissance. He also endured difficulties as a gay, Roman Catholic, Creole sculptor working during the nation's post-World War II era. He gave his black subjects in particular an intensity and sensuality that attracted important European American patrons and the press. Much of BarthAc's biography is recorded here for the first time in tandem with analyses and interpretations of his sculpture. Born to Creole parents in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, BarthAc's art brought him out of poverty. At the height of his fame, he was often criticized for not talking about injustices African Americans faced. He expected his art to speak not only for itself, but also for him. He fled the United States for an expatriate's life in Jamaica only to learn that, as an artist and a black man, he could not be accepted on his own terms, and there was no such thing as a perfect home. BarthAc: A Life in Sculpture reveals the breadth of BarthAc's oeuvre through readings of his figurative masterworks that attest to accomplishments in a life lived well beyond race. Independent scholar Margaret Rose Vendryes has taught art history and African American studies at York College, Princeton University, and the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She has published in International Review of African American Art and elsewhere. Jeffrey C. Stewart, professor of history at George Mason University, is the author of numerous articles and books, including Paul Robeson: Artist and Citizen.Over time, property taxes increased beyond the reach of many native Bay St. Louis families, as beach real estate values grew in ... Several Creoles were forced to sell or trade their desirable properties because of their inability to pay the taxes. ... The Holy Spirit Missionary Sisters actually earned their living teaching a few miles outside the Bay at St. Josepha#39;s Academy, ... Barthe remembered liking the manual chores, especially sweeping out the area around the Virgin Marya#39;s statue, anbsp;...

Author:Margaret Rose Vendryes
Publisher:Univ. Press of Mississippi - 2008


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