The Huntington had some news yesterday:
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens continues to enrich its African American art holdings with the receipt of two paintings, one by Robert S. Duncanson (1821–1872) and the other by Charles White (1918–1979). Duncanson’s Landscape with Ruin (ca. 1853) is now on view in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art; White’s Soldier (1944) will go on view there when expanded gallery space opens on July 19. The paintings are gifts from California-based collectors Sandra and Bram Dijkstra.
Landscape with Ruin was made by Duncanson (who was one of very few African American artists who enjoyed a successful career in the 19th century) while on his first trip to Europe, just as his talents as a landscape painter began to peak. Soldier is White’s powerful portrait of a World War II sergeant. White is known for socially charged figurative paintings and murals made from the time of the Great Depression through the Civil Rights era. Both men are considered among the most important African American painters of their eras.