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Anniversary Sale
Anniversary Sale

Museum Quality Fine Art Prints & Custom Framing

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Archibald Motley, Jr.

October 7, 1891 - January 16, 1981
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Archibald John Motley, Jr. was an African American artist of mixed race (African, Native American, and European) and is best known for his depiction of jazz and African American life in Chicago in the 1920s and 30s.

Motley was born in New Orleans, his family moved to Chicago in 1894 when his father took a job as a Pullman car porter. When Motley was 10 he had to work to help support the family when his father had an extended illness. He attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a family friend paid his tuition, recognizing Motley’s talent. In 1929 he won a Guggenheim fellowship to study in France for a year. In Paris he was inspired by artists such as Rembrandt and Franz Hals, to paint African Americans in a nuanced way that highlighted their individuality and character.

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