Collection 1880s–1940s


New York City, 1920s

Nov 14, 2020–Nov 26, 2023


Preston Dickinson. Harlem River. before 1928. Oil on canvas, 16 1/8 x 20 1/4" (41 x 51.4 cm). Gift of Abby Aldrich Rockefeller
  • MoMA, Floor 5, 509 The David Geffen Wing

Upon his arrival in New York City in 1927, the artist José Clemente Orozco wrote to his wife, “This incredible city, part amusement park and part growing monstrosity, has changed a great deal since I was last here [eight years ago].” Orozco’s assessment speaks to the exuberant cultural transformations of New York in the Jazz Age. Dealers and patrons began to support and promote communities of avant-garde artists active across the city. Artists, intellectuals, and activists established magazines as platforms for their work and ideas. Among them was Aaron Douglas, who wrote art criticism and provided illustrations for many publications associated with the Harlem Renaissance. For those who incorporated aspects of the urban landscape into their work, like Stuart Davis and John Storrs, the city was both magnet and muse.

Organized by Beverly Adams, Estrellita Brodsky Curator of Latin American Art, with Lydia Mullin, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Painting and Sculpture.

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Installation images

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