12019-08-27T10:32:53-07:00Lauren Cesirof37e4e52c3d9a4ff08b7937020ee9048f11c67393467016This image is featured in the exhibition, “not but nothing other: African American Portrayals, 1930s to Today.“ Hover over the highlighted rectangles for more information and links to related content.plain2019-09-04T11:35:21-07:00Oil on canvas35 x 23 1/4 in.Fisk University Galleries, Nashville, TennesseeLauren Cesirof37e4e52c3d9a4ff08b7937020ee9048f11c6739
12019-09-03T18:42:40-07:00Edmund Minor Archer (1904-1986) Susan, circa 19307Label & Mediaplain2020-02-05T13:34:45-08:00 Edmund Minor Archer came from a Richmond, Virginia family prominent in the city’s cultural life and showed an interest in art from a young age. After training at the Art Students League in New York and traveling in Europe, he returned to Richmond in 1926 and devoted himself to painting, where he gained a reputation for his sympathetic portrayals and depictions of African Americans.
Susan is one such work, a portrait of a Black woman who sits, hands folded in her lap, her body turned slightly away from the artist. To her left, a vase holds a bouquet of black-eyed Susans that allude playfully to the sitter’s name. While sensitively rendered and free of caricature, the painting nevertheless reveals a curious ambiguity—noticeable, for example, in her expression, which may be read as either pensive or put-upon. We might ascribe this to the unequal power dynamic between this upper-class White artist and his working-class Black subject.