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William H. Johnson
Harbor Under the Midnight Sun
1937
oil on burlap
28 x 37 1/2 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the Harmon Foundation



Hallucinatory colors and surging forms capture the intensity of the midnight sun in Scandinavia, where this African-American artist lived and painted for many years. The scene is Svolvaer, a harbor in Norway's Lofoten Islands ringed by mountains with dramatic, even peculiar, rock formations.