Monday, January 23, 2012

Richmond Barthe: OUR Artist of the Week

Richmond Barthé,(1901-1988) was born in Mississippi and moved to New Orleans when he was young.   Growing up in a devout Catholic house, painting, drawing were a source of enjoyment for him which would later help to define his life.  

After contributing some paintings to a church fundraiser, his talent captured the eye of his Priest who encouraged him to apply to the Art Institute of Chicago which he attended from 1924-1928.





It was Richmond's talent as a sculptor which was recognized and encouraged both by classmates and critics in Chicago.   After a one man show in 1928 he moved to New York City, set up shop and began working.   In addition to creating art, he socialized  *--with central figures of the Harlem Renaissance including Langston Huges, Alain Locke, Augusta Savage and Carl Van Vechten


Richmond Barthe was an out gay man and lived a fascinating life.  He **--continued to create sculpture well into the 1960s, some of which was commissioned as public art. He sculpted an American eagle for the Social Security Building in Washington, D.C. and a bas-relief for the Harlem River Housing Project. In 1949, the Haitian government commissioned him to create monuments to the revolutionary leaders Toussaint L’Overture and Jean Jacques Dessalines in Port-au-Prince. In addition to spending time in Haiti, Barthé lived in Jamaica before returning to the United States and settling in southern California. He died in 1989.

For more information on the personal side of his life and career, check out Cassandra Langers article on the Gay & Lesbian Review. 

Watch him at work


 
*, ** source:  blackpast.org

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Richmond was an "out" Gay man...
not so, he remained closeted all his life. I lived with him and he discoused at length on the subject.

Anonymous said...

not according to the published bios..... Would love to hear what you have to say though

Rustam khan said...

man and van richmond

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