fbpx Biennale Arte 2022 | Laura Wheeler Waring
La Biennale di Venezia

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Laura Wheeler Waring

1887 – 1948, USA

  • TUE - SUN
    23/04 > 25/09
    11 AM - 7 PM

    27/09 > 27/11
    10 AM - 6 PM
  • Central Pavilion
  • Admission with ticket

Laura Wheeler Waring was an African American painter, illustrator, and educator, known for her vibrant portraits made throughout the 1920s and 1930s, which often portrayed Harlem Renaissance luminaries. A civil rights advocate, Waring frequently contributed illustrations to the magazine The Crisis – a literary and political publication of vital significance to intellectual life throughout the Harlem Renaissance, aimed to strengthen solidarity between members of the African diaspora. Under W.E.B. Du Bois’ editorship, Waring provided graceful line drawings of women and children, which appeared on the cover and inside the magazine at least twenty times between 1917 and 1932, including many covers for the annual Christmas issue. Illustrations on the April 1923 and September 1924 covers, marked by Waring’s signature delicate Art Deco and Arts and Crafts-inspired decorative style, express a coming together of the contemporary moment and an imagined African continental history, which was frequently envisioned by Pan-Africanists through idealised visions of Ancient Egypt. On the September 1924 cover, figures don Ancient Egyptian dress but the story the image tells seems hardly from ancient times and opens to a new era: in it, a male attendant waits on the central female figure as she takes a lion for a walk.

Madeline Weisburg


Laura Wheeler Waring, The Crisis, September 1924 (cover illustration).
Courtesy Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, The New York Public Library

Central Pavilion
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Biennale Arte
Biennale Arte