Beale Street Blues by Palmer C. Hayden, oil on canvas, 1943.
palmer hayden collection
The forty Palmer Hayden paintings in the permanent collection of The Museum of African American Art include three of Hayden's most important paintings: Fetiche et Fleurs, 1933; Midsummer Night in Harlem, 1936; and Baptizing Day, 1946; as well as the John Henry
series, dating from 1944 to 1947. According to Hayden, John Henry, the
legendary railroad hero, signified "the beginning of the movement of
the Negro from agricultural into industrial labor."
After searching the country foran
appropriate repository for her husband's work, the late Miriam Hayden
elected to bequeath these forty paintings to the permanent collection
of The Museum of African American Art. Mrs. Hayden selected MAAA with
the understanding that the museum fulfill her wishes to preserve the
collection and promote a wider appreciation of Palmer Hayden's work
through public exhibitions.
text was excerpted and adapted from printed materials developed under
guest curator Allan M. Gordon, PhD, for the 1988 exhibit Echoes of Our Past: The Narrative Artistry of Palmer C. Haydenat The Museum of African American Art.