Jitterbugs III (recto)

Jitterbugs III (recto)

c. 1941

Part of a set. See all set records

William Henry Johnson

(American, 1901-1970)

Hand-colored, double-sided screenprint

Support: Paperboard/thin cardboard

Sheet: 40.6 x 27.9 cm (16 x 11 in.); Image: 34.7 x 25.5 cm (13 11/16 x 10 1/16 in.)

The Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2012.9.a

Location

Description

African American artist William H. Johnson’s screenprint presents dancers enjoying the jitterbug, a dance craze that came out of Harlem, a predominantly African American neighborhood of Manhattan, just before World War II. The smartly dressed couple dances enthusiastically at one of Harlem’s popular nightclubs—perhaps the famous Savoy Ballroom—while hints of live music appear in the form of two trumpet bells and piano keys. The sharp angles and kinetic stripes of the floor emphasize the dancers’ fast pace. At the time, screenprinting was used as a commercial printing method and rarely for fine art. Johnson’s technique, which he taught at the Harlem Community Art Center, includes the flat tonal areas typical of the medium.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email imageservices@clevelandart.org.