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Douglas, Aaron (26 May 1899–02 February 1979), artist and educator, was born in Topeka, Kansas, the son of Aaron Douglas, Sr., a baker, and Elizabeth (maiden name unknown), a domestic. Educated in segregated schools until high school, Douglas’s early artistic influences included his mother’s paintings and drawings and fellow African-American artist ...

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Aaron Douglas. Oil on canvas, 1953, by Betsy Graves Reyneau. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of the Harmon Foundation.

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Gutmann, Bernhard (24 September 1869–23 January 1936), painter, illustrator, and teacher, was born in Hamburg, Germany, the son of Zadig Gutmann and Elizabeth Biesenthal, merchants. After the death of his mother when he was two years old, Gutmann, the youngest of eight children, was reared by his father, then sent to boarding school. At age twenty Gutmann entered the internationally renowned art academy in Düsseldorf, transferring the following year to the academy in Karlsruhe. Unable to find employment in Germany after leaving school in 1892, he joined his brother Ludwig to work as an electrician at the Piedmont Electrical Illuminating Company in Lynchburg, Virginia. After only three years in Lynchburg, Gutmann began to make his mark on the creative life of the city. In 1895 he became the first supervisor and instructor of drawing in the Lynchburg Public Schools and concurrently taught drawing and painting at Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. He also founded the Lynchburg Art League with students from his private art classes. An enthusiastic and creative teacher, he introduced courses on art history and modeling, organized an exhibition of his work for the college, had his students design illustrations for a college handbook, and painted a mural, ...

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Marsh, Reginald (14 March 1898–30 July 1954), artist and teacher, was born in Paris, France, the son of Fred Dana Marsh, a painter-muralist of modern industry and New York City skyscrapers, and Alice Randall, a painter of miniatures. In 1900 the family moved to exclusive Nutley, New Jersey. Marsh grew up in a home filled with his parents’ art; reproductions of Rubens, Rembrandt, Titian, and Tintoretto; art books; brushes; canvases; and living models. He received no art instruction from his parents, however....