The Negro Looks Ahead
1940, cast 1986
Bronze on marble base
Cast by The Art Foundry
16 x 10 x 10 in.
signed, l.l.: Barthe 86 ©
Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas
Barthé launched his career as a sculptor in New York City in the early 1930s during the height of the New Negro Movement—a golden age of expression in art, literature, music, and stage performance also known as the Harlem Renaissance.
Influenced by the sculptural conventions of Renaissance masters like Michelangelo, Barthé grounded his aesthetic vision in traditional notions of ideal beauty and expressive composition. Though he was primarily interested in the formal qualities of his work, he did not overlook racecentered themes, and this work celebrates the dignity and beauty of black Americans.