Negro Head (Negro)

MAKER:
Artist

Allie Victoria Tennant ( American, 1892 - 1971 )

DATE:
1935
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General Description

Shown at the landmark Dallas Allied Arts Exhibition of 1935, in which the most modern and forward-thinking young artists of Texas received wide recognition, Allie Tennant's Negro Head won the Kiest Prize and became part of the Dallas Museum of Art's permanent collection. Harry Carnohan, art critic and fellow purchase prize winner, praised the anonymous portrait as, "a sincere and forceful piece of work that would hold its own in any exhibition in this country." Indeed, Tennant's head in Belgian black marble is a striking example of portrayal through attention to form rather than likeness. In his review, Carnohan noted the large number of works in the 1935 Allied Arts Exhibition devoted to African American subjects and saw it as a further evidence that local artists were looking at their contemporary surroundings and advancing toward uniquely "American" styles.

Adapted from

Rick Stewart, Lone Star Regionalism: The Dallas Nine and their Circle, 1928-1945 (Austin, TX: Texas Monthly Press, 1985), 53.

Fun Facts

  • This was Tennant's second sculpture to be added to the Museum's collection. Her portrait bust, Mrs. George K. Meyer (1933.23) won first prize in the Allied Arts Exhibition in 1929 and was donated in honor of Meyer in 1933.