The Currier Museum acquires one of the earliest paintings of free Blacks made in the West
The museum celebrates Black History Month with an important new acquisition
The Currier Museum of Art recently acquired one of the earliest depictions of free Black people in Europe. Painted in Antwerp around 1650, Black Men and Women in a Tavern shows figures drinking and smoking in a relaxed setting. Produced in the circle of the Flemish artist David Teniers the Younger, the work closely resembles paintings of the period showing White people carousing in taverns.
Black Men and Women in a Tavern joins several recent acquisitions by Black artists, including major works by Robert Duncanson, the most important Black painter of the 19th-century America; Norman Lewis, a leading member of the New York School; and Faith Ringgold, a much-beloved contemporary artist.
The painting is a generous gift from Salomon Lilian of Amsterdam. We are honored to have been gifted this painting for the start of Black History Month.
Black Men and Women in a Tavern is now on view in the European gallery.
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