"O' Write My Name": American Portraits, Harlem Heroes

December 17, 1983 – June 10, 1984

National Portrait Gallery
8th and F Streets, NW
Washington, DC

1st Floor, 7th St. Alcove Floor Plan

On view are 50 portraits of black Americans by Carl Van Vechten, noted author, critic, and photographer. The recent acquisitions, dating from the 1930s through the 1960s, range from a woman doing laundry to images of well-known personalities, including Marian Anderson, W.E.B. DuBois, Ella Fitzgerald, Mahalia Jackson, and Paul Robeson. The title of the exhibition is taken from the title of a spiritual of the Underground Railroad—the system established to aid fugitive slaves to escape from the South before the Civil War.