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Meet the Masters

Grade Five

ARTIST: PRINT:

WOODRUFF, HALE

POOR MAN'S COTTON NEWARK MUSEUM NEWARK, NEW JERSEY

(1900-1980)

20th Century American Date: 1944 Size: 30 1/2" x 22 1/2" Medium: Watercolor on Paper

ARTIST - Hale Woodruff was born in Cairo, Illinois. He received his early art training at the John Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis and The Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University. In 1927, he received the Harmon Foundation Award and went to Paris. He lived there for four years studying at the Academie Moderne and the Academie Scandinave.

In 1931 Woodruff became Art Director at Atlanta University. He founded the annual Atlanta University Art Exhibit that is one of the most important contributions to the development of black art. During the years at Atlanta, Woodruff traveled to Mexico studying mural painting with Diego Rivera and received a Rosenwald Fellowship for Creative Painting in 1943. In 1945, he became a teacher at New York University. In 1967, the New York University Alumni Association named him "Teacher of the Year."

Woodruff's abstract and semi-abstract oils show strong ties with art of modern European masters. His free, broad-brush strokes are colorful impressions of rhythmic movements in nature (the rushing sea or the rippling plain). These strokes are presented in bright, clear, intense colors such as whites, deep blues, rusty browns, yellows, reds and pinks. He is also an important mural painter. His talent for design gives unity and interest to the historical subjects he chooses.

PRINT - In his painting, Poor Man's Cotton, Woodruff depicts a scene of workers in the cotton field. His use of free, broad brush strokes helps show us the movement of the workers and how hard they are working. His use of bright reds, yellows and blues in combination with the white cotton falling against the dark background, help to make this a strong, dynamic painting. You can almost feel what it would have been like to work as a cotton picker as you gaze at this picture.

PORTFOLIO D PAIRED WITH:

CURRIER & IVES THE WHALE FISHERY

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