african american portraits

Hand-colored tintype portrait of three unidentified African American women, c. 1856.

Source: Harvard Library.

Artist Elizabeth Catlett, who said the purpose of her art was to “present black people in their beauty and dignity for ourselves and others to understand and enjoy,” was born on this day in 1915. 


[Elizabeth Catlett. Sharecropper. 1952, published 1968-70. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. © 2016 José Sanchez / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VEGAP, Spain]

Animated stereoview portrait of a group of African Americans posing in front of a house on a plantation on Fort George Island, Florida, c. 1800’s.

Source: New York Public Library.