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Laura Wheeler Waring

Artist 184

Laura Wheeler Waring

Portrait Painter

Laura Wheeler Waring (born 1887) was an African-American artist and educator, best known for her paintings of prominent African Americans which she made during the Harlem Renaissance. She taught art for more than 30 years at Cheyney University in Pennsylvania

Laura Wheeler Waring, raised by a pastor and teacher in Hartford, Connecticut, was interested in art as a child. In 1914, she travelled to Europe, where she studied the old masters at the Louvre and specifically the works of Claude Monet.

When she returned to the United States, due to the encroachment of World War I, Waring went on to teach and lead the departments of art and music at the Cheyney Training School for Teachers.

Although Waring worked in landscapes and still lifes, she is most celebrated for her paintings, which depicted accomplished black Americans with dignity and strength. Her most well-known series is the 1944 “Portraits of Outstanding American Citizens of Negro Origin,” which featured depictions of individuals including Du Bois, Marian Anderson and James Weldon Johnson.

Waring was among the artists displayed in the country's first exhibition of African-American art, held in 1927 by the William E. Harmon Foundation. She was commissioned by the Harmon Foundation to do portraits of many prominent African Americans and chose some associated with the Harlem Renaissance

During the Harlem Renaissance, Waring also worked alongside activists to address probing political issues.

Sources Consulted:…/e…/us_58a499b2e4b094a129f1513c/amp…


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