Richard Bruce Nugent
A dancer and writer himself, Richard Bruce Nugent had a deep affinity for the expressive possibilities of the human body in motion. In this striking image, he depicted dancers and plants as flat, stylized forms rendered in black silhouettes. In the mid-1920s, several Harlem Renaissance artists embraced an Art Deco silhouette aesthetic while evoking an African mythological past. As suggested in a verse of Nugent’s poem “Shadow” (1925), the silhouette also had personal significance for the artist, who was African American and openly gay:
A silhouette am I
On the face of the moon
Or vivid brightness
But defined all the clearer
Because I am dark
Black on the face of the moon
Black ink and graphite on moderately thick, moderately textured, cream colored wove paper
14 3/4 x 10 1/2 in. (37.5 x 26.7 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Dr. Thomas H. Wirth, gift of Frederick J. Adler, by exchange, bequest of Richard J. Kempe, by exchange, and gift of Abraham Walkowitz, by exchange
This item is not on view
Richard Bruce Nugent (American, 1906-1987). Dancing Figures, ca. 1935. Black ink and graphite on moderately thick, moderately textured, cream colored wove paper, 14 3/4 x 10 1/2 in. (37.5 x 26.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Dr. Thomas H. Wirth, gift of Frederick J. Adler, by exchange, bequest of Richard J. Kempe, by exchange, and gift of Abraham Walkowitz, by exchange, 2008.50.6 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2008.50.6_PS2.jpg)
overall, 2008.50.6_PS2.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2010
"CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
No known copyright restrictions
This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.
You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please fill out our online application form
The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.
The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.
For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress
, Cornell University
, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums
, and Copyright Watch
For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright
If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome
any additional information you might have.