Black Beauty

Call it a re-rebirth: A dazzling artistic legacy shines a second time this century with "Rhapsodies in Black: Art of the Harlem Renaissance," an international touring collection of painting, sculpture, writing, photography, and archival film and sound recordings from the period. While W.E.B. Du Bois, editor of the NAACP journal Crisis, was advocating for civil and political equality for black Americans, the community found commanding voices in author Zora Neale Hurston and poet Langston Hughes, moody and joyful music in Duke Ellington and Bessie Smith, glamour in dancer Josephine Baker, and dramatic power in actor Paul Robeson. Selections and clips of their work will be shown alongside the photographs of Harlem society by James VanDerZee, Aaron Douglas' jazz-inspired paintings, and Archibald Motley Jr.'s nightclub and street scenes. The exhibit opens Saturday at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, Lincoln Park, the Presidio, 34th Avenue & Clement, S.F. Admission is free-$7; call 863-3330. In a related note, Harlem and the New York jazz scene figure prominently in the photo exhibit "Roy DeCarava: A Retrospective," which opens at 11 a.m. Jan. 23 at the SFMOMA, 151 Third St. (at Mission), S.F. Admission is free-$8; call 357-4000.

 
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