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William H. Johnson

Street Life, Harlem
about 1939--40
oil
45 3/4 x 38 5/8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation

Street Life, Harlem celebrates the people and dynamic energy of Harlem in the late 1930s. Johnson had many opportunities to experience its night life during the four years he taught art at the Harlem Community Art Center. These were vibrant years in Harlem, when positive portrayals of everyday life strengthened the sense of community that was such an important aspect of African American culture.