I was able to attend the event concerning Aaron Douglas at the Gem Theater
yesterday. I met Emanuel Cooper and a couple of old friends while I was there.
The evening revealed evidence of Douglas teaching in Kansas City prior to
moving on to New York. I had not been aware that Douglas was born in Topeka.
Aaron taught at Lincoln High School. A friend of mine named Andrea teaches art
there now. If you ever get into Kansas City do visit the restored, historic 18th
and Vine district and it's Jazz Museum, Gem Theater and the Negro Baseball
Museum. It's a real treasure.
The Spencer Museum at the University of Kansas in Lawrence will have an
exhibit of Aaron Douglas paintings next year. It runs September through
On 12/12/06, Emanuel Cooper Jr. <email@example.com > wrote:
"Who Is Aaron Douglas?"
Monday, 18 December 2006
American Jazz Museum | Gem Theater 18th & Vine
Kansas City, Missouri
6:00 - 8:00 pm
On 12/12/06, Emanuel Cooper Jr. <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Invitation | Press Release
> "Who Is Aaron Douglas?"
> Cultural Education Resource
> Exceptional Professional Development Offering
> Free Public Reception | Lecture | Press Conference
> Monday, 18 December 2006
> American Jazz Museum | Gem Theater 18th & Vine
> Kansas City, Missouri
> 6:00 - 8:00 pm
> rsvp: 816.235.6183 asap
> Cultural Education Reception
> As a first in a series of ?Pre Aaron Douglas Regional
> 07 Celebration Cultural Education Events,? a free
> public reception, lecture and press conference will be
> held at the American Jazz Museum located at 18th &
> Vine Street in Kansas City, Missouri, on Monday, 18
> December 2006 at 6:00 pm. The cultural education event
> will open in the atrium of the American Jazz Museum's
> Gem Theater at 6:00 pm and continue with a lecture
> followed by a Q&A session and press conference at 7:00
> pm to 8:00 pm.
> The primary subject focus of the first in a series of
> cultural education offerings will be on ?Who Is Aaron
> Douglas?: A Popular Culture Introduction to the
> American History Contextual Significance of the Life
> and Work of Aaron Douglas.? A lecture on the subject
> of ?Who Is Aaron Douglas?? will be presented by Carol
> Rhodes Dyson, Interim Director of The American Jazz
> Museum and former Co-Founder of Euphrates Gallery,
> Inc. Proposed jazz performance will be provided by
> Lisa Henry (Jazz Vocalist). Dr. Thomas Garrison
> (Pianist, Euphrates? Sr. Advisor, Music Education)
> will accompany Lisa Henry. Newly discovered
> unpublished primary resource material will be
> exclusively presented to the public for the first time
> during the event. Presentation of pristine primary
> source material certifies Aaron Douglas? direct
> association with Lincoln High School, Art Education,
> The Kansas City, Missouri School District and The 18th
> & Vine Neighborhood.
> Historical Sketch
> Fisk University received a prestigious collection of
> modern American and European Art in 1949 from Georgia
> O?Keeffe. The significant gift was made as a response
> to the occasion of the passing of her husband, Alfred
> Stieglitz, in 1946. Alfred Stieglitz had been
> considered the Father of Modern Photography. Georgia
> O?Keeffe?s philanthropic investment of 101 works of
> art to Fisk University represented an estimated one
> tenth of Alfred Stieglitz?s personal collection of
> ?almost 1000? works. At the time of her gift O?Keeffe
> asked that the collection be ?exhibited intact.?
> O?Keeffe?s personal interest in the Alfred Stieglitz
> Collection was reflected in her personal visit to Fisk
> University?s campus in Nashville, Tennessee, where she
> directed the collection?s installation. Fast forward.
> In current history the Radiator Building-Night, New
> York, (1927) painted by O?Keeffe and included in the
> Stieglitz Collection donated to Fisk, has become the
> center of controversial revenue development by the
> university ref: NPR: University to Sell O?Keeffe Gift
> Painting, Things Considered, December 9, 2005.
> http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5046875 >
> Rewind to the past. With the support and vision of
> Charles S. Johnson, Fisk University?s first African
> American President, Aaron Douglas considered by some
> scholars as being the Father of the Visual Arts
> Movement of the Harlem Renaissance Experience (Harlem
> Renaissance 1920 - 1940) and by others the Dean of
> African-American painters, established Fisk
> University's Department of Art. Aaron Douglas was
> Department Chair during the exhibition preparation and
> installation of the Alfred Stieglitz Collection,
> personally supervised by O?Keeffe. Carol Van Vechten,
> philanthropist and renowned photographer of American
> Black Society (1920?s - 1930?s) is credited with
> prompting O?Keeffe?s gift to Fisk University. Aaron
> Douglas served as the university?s Art Department
> Chair for 30 years.
> Locally. We have yet to discover or to celebrate the
> life and work of Aaron Douglas, who taught art at
> Lincoln High School in Kansas City, Missouri between
> 1923 and 1925 before leaving for New York. During
> Douglas? teaching assignment in Kansas City, Lincoln
> High School was located at ?Nineteenth, N.E. Cor.
> Tracy.? Aaron Douglas lived at 1824 Paseo, YMCA
> (Residence Telephone Number: GR 0885). The Paseo YMCA
> in Kansas City, Missouri still stands today. Aaron
> Douglas lived in the 18th & Vine Neighborhood. We can
> imagine that he would have walked no more than two
> blocks to work and he would have walked, shopped and
> found entertainment along Vine Street. At some point
> he would have surely stood on the corner of 18th &
> Vine. In short, Aaron Douglas lived among our history.
> Today. It has been 35 years since a retrospective of
> Aaron Douglas? work has been produced. In popular
> culture we are left with questions of simple
> introduction. ?Who is Aaron Douglas?? More
> importantly, we are left with the urgent need to
> answer as many questions as we are able to uncover.
> In turn we should embrace the significant meaning of
> our discoveries. Most importantly as cultural
> education outcomes we should celebrate our unfolding
> awareness of Douglas? contribution to our local and
> national cultural dialogue.
> Developing Collaboration
> ?Who Is Aaron Douglas? is being presented by the
> developing collaboration of the Association for the
> Study of African American Life and History: Lorenzo J.
> Greene Branch; Euphrates Gallery, Inc.; Kansas City,
> Missouri Public Library, Central Branch; American Jazz
> Museum; Missouri Department of Natural Resources;
> Kansas City Art Institute; The John Wornall House
> Museum; The Missouri State Historical Society; Kansas
> City, Missouri School District; DonorEdge | Grater
> Kansas City Foundation; Heritage League of Greater
> Kansas City and Fare Share: National Initiative as
> part of the proposed planning, development and
> production of ?Aaron Douglas Regional 07 Celebration?
> (September 2007 - December 2007).
> To join and or support the developing collaborative or
> to secure additional information please contact
> Emanuel Cooper, Jr., President, ASALH, Inc: Lorenzo J.
> Greene Branch; Chair, Euphrates Gallery, Inc:
> Euphrates Mission
> Euphrates has a Cross-Cultural, Cross-Discipline,
> Education mission. We seek collaborations with
> organizations, corporations and individuals, with like
> Euphrates? Vocation | Avocation
> Euphrates? vocation and avocation is Cultural Studies
> Research and Cultural Education Content Development
> On 14 December 1984 Euphrates Gallery was incorporated
> in Kansas City, Missouri. In January 1986 Euphrates
> Gallery, Inc. was granted exemption from Federal
> income tax under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3)
> of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
> To request Euphrates History or ASALH: Lorezo J.
> Greene History e.mail email@example.com
> rsvp 816.235.6183
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