Charles White in Hollywood
Starting in the 1950s, White did album cover drawings of jazz performers for Vanguard Records. His album work earned him a 1965 Grammy nomination. White also did graphics for a 1959 CBS-TV special, Tonight with [Harry] Belafonte. There White's drawings were used as bridges between musical and comedy numbers. (Yes, TV was a lot slower back then. Check out the opening Revlon commercial.)
|Charles White, J'Accuse #6, 1966|
|Still from Anna Lucasta, 1958|
Hollywood commissions do not necessarily bring out an artist's best work. But the draughtsmanship of the Anna Lucasta drawings is as assured as any other of White's works of the time. The shaped formats and tonal plane backgrounds set them apart. The center and largest image of the Triptych shows less-remembered actors Rex Ingram, Fred O'Neal, and Georgia Burke. It's lent by the incipient Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, part of its growing collection of African-American figuration.
|Charles White, Anna Lucasta Triptych, 1958, LACMA installation view|