Aaron Douglas

His thirst for education was matched only by his yearning for a woman. Her name was Alta Sawyer, who, before marrying Douglas, was in an unhappy marriage to another man. Here is an excerpt from a letter written to Alta from Douglas, "I've been working and reading furiously... I am doing some work in ornament and design, a very tedious and laborious task. I am still getting up at 4 and 4:30. Sweetheart, you have aroused again in me that passion for work and McCurry 2 study, that deep-seated ambition to push to the top. It is that same passion and that same ambition which alone carried me through all my school life."aE(Grogan and Kirschke, 1999). This letter is an example of the intensity and passion that Douglas carried with him. After his short hiatus as a teacher he moved to New York City to study under Winold Reiss. He received his master from Columbia University Teachers College in 1944, was founder and chair of the art department at Fisk University from 1937 to 1966 and died in 1979. Douglas was a constant workaholic with a primary emphasis in African-American art, and was considered by many to be the "Dean of African-American paintersaE. All of these events took place



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