Works in the Collection
Richmond Barthé was born 1901 in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. He attended the Art Institute of Chicago and studied privately with acclaimed African American painter Archibald Motley. After graduating from the Art Institute in 1928, he relocated to New York City where, as part of the Harlem Renaissance community of the 1930s, he received acclaim for being one of the first sculptors to use black figures as a source of inspiration. He was the first African American artist, along with Jacob Lawrence to be represented in the permanent collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and is represented in such institutions as the Whitney Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, the Art Institute of Chicago, Yale University Museum, Howard University Gallery of Art, and the Tuskegee University Gallery of Art, among many others. His most famous public works include the bald eagle statue of the Social Security Building in Washington, DC, and a 40-foot statue of Haitian revolutionary Jean Jacques Dessalines made for Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince. The artist passed in 1989.