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ELMER W. BROWN (1909 - 1971) Mural for Freedom (Study for Men's City Club, Cleveland, OH).
Watercolor, gouache and graphite on illustration board, 1942. 203x368 mm; 8x14 1/2 inches (image); 381x508 mm; 15x20 (board). Signed, titled and dated in pencil, lower margin.
Provenance: Paramour Fine Arts, Franklin, MI; the Patricia and Donald Oresman Collection, New York; private collection, Illinois.
This is the original study by Elmer Brown for the large mural commissioned for the City Club of Cleveland by the WPA in 1942. The 11 by 22 foot mural was inspired by the work of the Mexican muralists. The finished mural is illustrated in both James A. Porter's Modern Negro Art and Cedric Dover's American Negro Art. Brown studied at the Cleveland School (now the Cleveland Institute of Art), and taught at Karamu House, where he befriend Langston Hughes. While Brown worked in many media, he is best known for his mural paintings in Cleveland - Mural for Freedom moved with the changing locations of the City Club and has been recently restored. Dover plate 30, p. 98; Porter p. 239.