The Harlem Renaissance was a time when “African American cultural and intellectual endeavor surged into the American mainstream,” writes exhibition organizer Melissa Barton in a companion volume forthcoming from Yale University Press.
In the near-century since it began, the Harlem Renaissance has captured the American popular imagination, eliciting ongoing critical and public interest, says Barton, curator of prose and drama in the Yale Collection of American Literature (YCAL).
Beinecke’s exhibition, Barton emphasizes, “seeks to return us to the documents, photographs, artworks, and objects that have generated this tremendous response of scholarship, inquiry, and homage.”
The Beinecke show features more than 300 artifacts from the library’s James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection (JWJ) of African American Arts and Letters and is part of the 75th anniversary celebration of the collection’s founding in 1941. The JWJ Collection overall holds over 13,000 volumes, 3,000 pieces of sheet music, countless pages of manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, and ephemera, as well as 11,000 digital images. It is one of the most-consulted collections at Yale.
The show includes material by Langston Hughes, Bessie Smith, Bill “Bojangles” Robinson, Aaron Douglas, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, W.E.B. Du Bois, Countée Cullen, Augusta Savage, Carter Woodson, Alain LeRoy Locke, Gwendolyn Bennett, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Jean Toomer, James Van Der Zee, Gladys Bentley, Arna Bontemps, Laura Wheeler Waring, Wallace Thurman, Ethel Waters, Sterling Brown, and other creators of the era.
Monday 10 a.m.-7 p.m.
Tuesday – Thursday 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
Friday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday, Noon-5 p.m.