II

Narratives of African American Art and Identity

Richmond Barthé

Head of Dancer (Harold Kreutzberg) , 1930s

Bronze

12" x 7.5" x 6.5"


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Head of Dancer

Even though Barthé is best remembered for his sensitive renderings of African and African American figures and portrait busts, he did not limit himself to that genre. In addition to his work within an African/African American thematic structure, Barthé also displayed a particular interest in dance and theater.

According to Bearden's and Henderson's 1993 A History of African-American Artists, during the 1930s, Barthé's fascination with the movements and expressions of dance inspired him to join a modern dance group under May Radin at Martha Graham's studio. Barthé utilized his experiences as a dance student to increase his knowledge of the body's musculature. According to Driskell, Barthé's portrait bust of Russian dancer Harold Kruetzberg reflects his interest in dance as well as his ability to communicate the innermost essence of his subject's humanity, irrespective of race.   T. F.

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