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Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
WILMER JENNINGS (1910 - 1990) Shack.
Wood engraving on cream wove paper, circa 1938. 127x101 mm; 203x139 mm; 8x5 1/2 inches, wide margins. Signed, titled and numbered 7/25 in pencil, lower margin.
Born in Atlanta, Georgia, printmaker and designer Wilmer Jennings attended Morehouse College and studied under Hale Woodruff, who introduced him to the principles of modernism. Under the Graphic Arts Division of the WPA in 1934, they worked together on two notable murals that represented the African American experience: The Negro in Modern American Life: Agriculture and Rural Life, Literature, Music, and Art and The Dream. Unfortunately, both murals were destroyed.
After graduating from Morehouse College, Jennings moved to New England to attend the Rhode Island School of Design (1933). Hired by the Rhode Island WPA in 1935, he created works that portrayed the economic hardships of African Americans during the Depression. The subjects of his later work included landscape and social realist scenes of his community. After injuring his right hand in 1957, Jennings began to train himself to draw and paint left-handed, which he continued to do up until the time of his death. Wilmer Jennings's artwork is in the permanent collections of the Rhode Island School of Design Art Museum and The Metropolitan Museum of Art.