On view through Saturday, March 6, at Spartanburg’s TJC Gallery, Excellence & Emancipation: African American Artists and the Harmon Foundation explores the history and influence of the Harmon Awards.
Established in 1926, the Harmon Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Awards initiative was open exclusively to African Americans working in eight fields of endeavor, such as music, literature, science, and the fine arts.
The program became best known for celebrating the work of African American visual artists through nationally touring exhibitions. The Johnson Collection’s upcoming exhibition showcases works created by legendary artists such as Charles Alston, William Artis, Richmond Barthé, Leslie Bolling, William Cooper, Beauford Delaney, Aaron Douglas, Edwin Harleston, Palmer Hayden, Malvin Gray Johnson, William H. Johnson, Loïs Mailou Jones, James Porter, William Scott, Laura Waring, James Wells, Ellis Wilson, and Hale Woodruff. In their respective roles as makers, teachers, historians, and activists, the 18 featured artists had profound impacts on art in the early twentieth century, and their legacies continue to inform today’s creative and cultural conversation.
TJC Gallery, the Johnson Collection’s hometown exhibition space, is located at 154 West Main Street in downtown Spartanburg. Open from 12-4pm Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and the first Saturday of the month, gallery admission is free, and all are welcome. The Johnson Collection is dedicated to ensuring a safe visit for all guests: face coverings are required, and guests are asked to please maintain social distance in the gallery space.
Visit thejohnsoncollection.org for additional information.