“Silhouettes tells the story of a people,” said Christopher Norwood, a Miami-based collector, gallerist, and founder of Hampton Art Lovers, who curated the exhibition in consultation with Shawn Christian, professor of English at Florida International University, and Wolfsonian staff. “The Harlem Renaissance is the most important and comprehensive art movement in American history, introducing the modern world to free Black thought, culture, and aspiration."
What we know as the Harlem Renaissance was called the 'New Negro' movement in its heyday, from the 1920s to 1940s. Artworks and literature from this movement challenged demeaning stereotypes and called upon Black people to assert their own self-determination, offering complex stories and nuanced portraits of everyone from cultural luminaries to anonymous figures. The reach and perspective of the Harlem Renaissance extended over all parts of the United States and beyond its borders.
“A lot has changed in America since the Harlem Renaissance, however many of the issues addressed are still relevant today,” said Shawn Christian. “The more one immerses oneself in these texts and images, the more it feels like they were created not so long ago.”