The Hewitt African American Art Collection

Essay by GPHUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, January 2005

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Written for my sex and the family class, the assingment was to visit the Hewitt African American Art Collection and write a review about the gender rolls portrayed in a particular painting (of our choice).

I visited the Hewitt African American Art Collection on Tuesday, February 23 after our class and have chosen to review the painting "Jammin At The Savoy," by Rompre Bearden.

Before I focus specifically on this painting I would like to make two observations about gender roles that were portrayed in almost all the paintings where either women were portrayed or both men and women were portrayed. First I noticed that in all the painting with only women, the woman/women's faces were either shrouded by a hat or some other piece of clothing on their head, or they were looking down making their face barley visible; other paintings such as the 'woman washing clothes in a tub' showed the women in a almost defeated position, all in all seeming to show them as being less than human.

Second the paintings that did portray both men and women usually showed the women in a sitting position with their backs to the audience, (us), and again their faces always seemed hidden or obstructed while the men were usually in standing positions, in full view, and animated in some way seeming to portray that they had a sense of power and belonging in each painting.

As for the painting "Jammin At The Savoy" by Rompre Bearden, my first observation of gender roles is that there are no females in the band. Now I realize that there are such things as all male bands, but I believe that in today's day and age this is somewhat rare since backup singers, instrumentalists, and co-lead singers are often...