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  • Painter and Poet: The Wonderful World of Ashley Bryan

    Ashley Bryan banner
    Ashley Bryan
    Ashley Bryan
    American, born 1923
    The Negro Speaks of Rivers, 2014
    Final illustration for Sail Away: Poems by Langston Hughes (Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2015)
    Cut-paper collage on paper
    Collection of the Ashley Bryan Center

    Artist, author, and educator Ashley Bryan (American, born 1923) says he can’t remember a time when he was not drawing and painting. His unending creative zeal has fueled a long and prolific career.

    At a young age, Bryan noticed the lack of children’s books with African American characters. Bryan is committed to filling that void in black representation by creating books about the African and African American experiences.

    Bryan’s art is as varied as his stories. His accomplished draughtsmanship is evident, whether he is drawing with pencil to create meticulous renderings, printing with cut linoleum to make vibrant celebrations of linear movement, or using tempera in colorful paintings that simulate his block prints and impart a similar visual intensity. In addition to his works on paper, Bryan also creates puppets from found objects and returns to one of the earliest forms of visual narrative in the stained-glass windows he fashions from sea glass and papier-mâché.

    This exhibition showcases the breadth and depth of Bryan’s creative output, from the dynamic figure drawings he made while serving as a soldier in World War II, to his first published book in 1967, to his 2016 book Freedom Over Me, awarded a Newbery Honor, Coretta Scott King Author Honor, and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor.

    Exhibition Organization & Support
    Painter and Poet: The Wonderful World of Ashley Bryan is organized by The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Amherst, Massachusetts, in partnership with the Ashley Bryan Center.

    Support for the High Museum’s presentation is provided by the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation and the Inaugural Grandparents Circle of Support: Spring and Tom Asher, Jane and Dameron Black, Lucinda W. Bunnen, Anne Cox Chambers, Ann and Tom Cousins, Shearon and Taylor Glover, Nancy and Holcombe T. Green, Jr., Joy and Tony Greene, Ellen and Tom Harbin, Mary Ellen and John Imlay, Sarah and Jim Kennedy, Jane and Hicks Lanier, Rene and Jim Nalley, Margaret and Terry Stent, Margaretta Taylor, and an anonymous donor.

    This exhibition is made possible by

    Premier Exhibition Series Partner


    Exhibition Series Sponsor
    Delta Logo


    Premier Exhibition Series Supporters
    Sarah and Jim Kennedy
    Anne Cox Chambers Foundation
    The Antinori Foundation
    Jane and Hicks Lanier
    Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot


    Contributing Exhibition Series Supporters
    Corporate Environments
    Peggy Foreman
    James F. Kelly Charitable Trust
    The Lubo Fund
    Margot and Danny McCaul
    Joyce and Henry Schwob

    Generous support is also provided by
    Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund
    Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund
    Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund
    John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund
    Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund
    Howell Exhibition Fund
    Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund
    Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund
    Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund

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