Masters of African American Art

Born 1765-1920

The Anyone Can Fly Foundation's mission is to expand the art establishment's canon to include artists of the African Diaspora and to introduce the Great Masters of African American Art and their art traditions to children and adult audiences.

The this is a list of under-represented African American artists born in the 18th, 19th and early 20th century. The Foundation honors these artists, and supports the dissemination of their work through scholarship and teaching to school children. Follow the links to find the text of essays and lesson plans written with support from the Anyone Can Fly Foundation. If you are interested in applying for a scholar or teachers grant, please contact us.


Joshua Johnston, Painter
1765-1830

Martha Erskine Ricks, Quilt Maker
ca. 1817-1901
essay 

Robert S. Duncanson, Painter
1823-1872

Edward M. Bannister, Painter
1828-1901

Harriet Powers, Quilt Maker
1837-1911

Edmonia Lewis, Sculptor
1845-1911

Henry Ossawa Tanner, Painter
1859-1936

William Edmonson, Sculptor
1874-1951

Meta Warrick Fuller, Sculptor
1877-1968

James Van Der Zee, Photographer
1886-1983

Laura Wheeler Waring, Painter
1887-1948

Horace Pippin, Painter
1888-1946
lesson plan

Sargent Johnson, Sculptor
1888-1967

Archibald J. Motley, Painter
1891-1981

Augusta Savage, Sculptor
1892-1962

Minnie Evans, Folk Painter
1892-1987

Palmer C. Hayden, Painter
1893-1973

Alma W. Thomas, Painter
1896-1978

Aaron Douglas, Painter
1899-1979

Hale A. Woodruff, Painter
1900-1980

Selma Burke, Sculptor
1900-1995
essay

William H. Johnson, Painter
1901-1970

Beauford Delaney, Painter
1901-1979

Richmond Barthe, Sculptor
1901-1989
essay

James Lesesne Wells, Painter
1902-1989

Lois Mailou Jones, Painter
1905-1998
essay

Charles Alston, Painter
1907-1977

Norman Lewis, Painter
1909-1979

Alan Rohan Crite, Painter
1910-2007

Romare Bearden, Painter
1914-1988
essay

Hughie Lee Smith, Painter
1915-1999

Elizabeth Catlett, Sculptor
1915-2012
award

Eldzier Cortor, Painter
1916-2016

Jacob Lawrence, Painter
1917-2000

Charles White, Painter
1918-1979

Roy De Carava, Photographer
1919-2009

Robert Blackburn, Print Maker
1920-2003
essay


Essays

Martha Erskine Ricks, Quilt Maker
ca. 1817-1901
essay 

Selma Burke, Sculptor
1900-1995
essay

Richmond Barthe, Sculptor
1901-1989
essay

Lois Mailou Jones, Painter
1905-1998
essay

Romare Bearden, Painter
1914-1988
essay

Robert Blackburn, Print Maker
1920-2003
essay

Lesson Plans

 

Lifetime Achievement Award Winners

Elizabeth Catlett, Sculptor
1915-2012

View all Honorees
 

 

Robert Blackburn

A Life in Print: Robert Blackburn and American Printmaking
by Dr. Deborah Cullen, a 2002 Anyone Can Fly Foundation Professional Scholars Grant recipient.

Please Note: Copyright Permission has been granted for images that illustrate this essay. © The Estate of Robert Blackburn. Used with permission. "Refugees" photo is provided courtesy of North Carolina Central University Art Museum, (Durham, NC). All other photos are provided courtesy of Karl Peterson, NY. Please refer to image captions for additional information.