Evolution of Swing

Raymond Steth American
Publisher WPA

Not on view

Evolution of Swing illustrates the development of swing music from its origins in rural Africa, represented by the scene at lower right, through the enslavement of Africans by white Americans, to the urban centers of the twentieth century. The subject is representative of the centrality of black American history and culture in Steth’s work. He took cues from the three primary leaders of the Mexican muralism movement—his contemporaries José Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros—in producing a flowing, allover composition that conveys an intelligible narrative. The print is based on a drawing that Steth used in his application to the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration, a New Deal program that financially supported unemployed artists. He was placed in the Graphics Division of the Federal Art Project in Philadelphia, where he worked for a little over two years and developed the drawing into a lithograph.

Evolution of Swing, Raymond Steth (American, Norfolk, Virginia 1917–1997 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Lithograph

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