The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of March 1, 2024

Go Down Death

Go Down Death

1934
(American, 1899–1979)
Framed: 124.5 x 94 x 3.8 cm (49 x 37 x 1 1/2 in.); Unframed: 121.9 x 91.5 cm (48 x 36 in.)
Art © Heirs of Aaron Douglas/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

Did You Know?

Douglas founded the art department at Fisk University, where he also created many celebrated murals.

Description

The leading painter of the Harlem Renaissance, Douglas based this painting on an illustration he made for God’s Trombones: Seven Negro Sermons in Verse (1927), a book by noted author and civil rights advocate James Weldon Johnson. Its subject tells the story of a winged angel of death who races through the heavens on horseback to rescue a woman from a life of suffering.
  • until 1977
    Collection of the artist
    1977-2005
    Dr. and Mrs. David C. Driskell, by gift to the Cleveland Museum of Art
    2005-
    The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH
  • Driskell, David, C. Two Centuries of Black American Art Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1976. Mentioned: p. 153
    Driskell, David C. Hidden Heritage: Afro-American Art, 1800-1950. San Francisco, Calif: The Association, 1985. Cat. no. 50
    Driskell, David C. Hidden Heritage: Afro-American Art, 1800–1950. Bellevue Art Museum, Washington: Art Museum Association of America, 1985, second printing 1987. Mentioned: p. 41,94
    Campbell, Mary Schmidt. et al., Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America. New York: Abrams, 1987. Mentioned: p. 110, 130; Reproduced: color plate 33
    Gips, Terry. Narratives of African American Art and Identity: The David C. Driskell Collection. San Francisco, Calif: Pomegranate, 1998. Cat. no. 14
    Holland, Juanita Marie. Narratives of African American Art and Identity: The David C. Driskell Collection. San Francisco: Pomegranate, 1998. Reproduced: frontispiece, p. 81, n. 14; Mentioned: p. 81, 183
    McAleer,Bernard. “After Hours: An Inspiring Heritage.” The Network Journal 8, no. 4 (January 31, 2001) Mentioned: p. 34
    Litt, Steven. "Museum buys work by important black painter." The Plain Dealer, December 22, 2005. Mentioned: p. F-1, F-3; Reproduced: p. F-3
    "Mark Cole." Cleveland Art 46, no. 3 (March 2006) Mentioned: p. 2, 10
    Earle, Susan, ed. Aaron Douglas: African American Modernist. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2007. Reproduced: p. 172, n. 73
    Adams, Henry. What's American about American art?: a gallery tour in the Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2008. Reproduced: fig. 15, p. 13
    Cole, Mark. "Jacob Lawrence's Fulton and Nostrand." Cleveland Art 48 (February 2008). Reproduced: p. 7; Mentioned: p. 7
    Gordon, Margery. "Eyes on the Prizes." Art & Auction 31 (February 2008) Reproduced: p. 117; Mentioned: p. 117
    Cole, Mark, "Jacob Lawrence's Fulton and Nostrand", Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland Art: The Cleveland Museum of Art Members Magazine. Vol. 48 no. 2, February 2008 Mentioned & reproduced: p. 7 archive.org
    McIntyre, Dianna. "A Personal Favorite." Cleveland Art 51 (March/April 2011) Mentioned: p. 8; Reproduced: p. 8
    Cole, Mark. African American Art, The Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2013. Mentioned: p. 16
    Anderson, Nancy. “Aaron Douglas/The Judgment Day/1939.” In American Paintings, 1900–1945, NGA Online Editions. Reproduced: p. 7
    Smith, Roberta. "A Show's Secret Star: Art Deco steps out incognito with plenty of company in a design exhibition." The New York Times, April 7, 2017. Mentioned: p. C19
  • Aaron Douglas and the Harlem Renaissance. Spencer Museum of Art, Lawrence, KS (organizer) (September 8-December 2, 2007); Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN (January 19-April 13, 2008); National Museum of American Art, Washington, DC (May 9-August 3, 2008); Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York, NY (August 30-November 30, 2008).
    The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s. Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, New York, NY (April 7-August 20, 2017); The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (September 30, 2017-January 14, 2018).
    Two Centuries of Black American Art. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA (September 30-November 21, 1976); High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (January 8-February 20, 1977); Museum of Fine Arts, Dallas, TX (March 30-May 15, 1977); The Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, NY(June 25-August 21, 1977).
    Hidden Heritage: Afro-American Art, 1800-1950. Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA (September 14-November 10, 1985); Bronx Museum of the Arts, The Bronx, NY (January 14-March 10, 1986); California Afro-American Museum, Los Angeles, CA (April 7-June 2, 1986); Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, CT (July 4-August 31, 1986); Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC (September 22-November 17, 1986); San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, TX (December 15, 1986-February 9, 1987); Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo, OH (March 8-May 3, 1987).
    Harlem Renaissance: Art of Black America. Studio Museum in Harlem, Harlem, NY (February 12-August 30, 1987); Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL (April 7-June 5, 1988); High Museum of Art, Alanta, GA (June 28-September 4, 1988); Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME (September 24-November 20, 1988); Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, University of Texas, Austin, TX (January 14-February 26, 1989); Virginia Museum of the Fine Arts (March 27-May 21, 1989); Cheekwood Museum of Art, Nashville, TN (June 17-August 6, 1989); New York State Museum, Albany, NY (August 29-October 29, 1989).
    Narratives of African American Art and Identity: The Davide C. Driskill Collection. The Art Gallery, University of Maryland, College Park, MD (October 22- December 19, 1998); African American Museum, Dallas, TX (March 13- June 19, 1999); Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME (July 21- October 17, 1999); The Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA (November 20, 1999- February 12, 2000); The High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA (June 20- September 10, 2000); Newark Museum, Newark, NJ (October 25, 2000- February 25, 2001); Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH (March 17- May 14, 2001); Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA (July 8- September 30, 2001); Naples Museum of Art, Naples, FL (October 15, 2001- January 13, 2002), FL; Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, NC (April 23-October 25, 2002).
  • {{cite web|title=Go Down Death|url=false|author=Aaron Douglas|year=1934|access-date=01 March 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/2005.181