March -July 13, 2014


During the Harlem Renaissance of the early 1900s, many southern musicians moved to northern cities, bringing with them the new rhythms and poignant lyrics of southern black music. Alongside famous musicians such as Cab Calloway, Billie Holliday and Duke Ellington, southern African American artists performed at famous nightclubs in Harlem, including the Savoy Ballroom, the Apollo Theatre, and the Cotton Club. LSU Museum of Art brings this era to life with The Visual Blues, an exhibition that captures this period’s unprecedented outburst of artistic creativity inspired by blues, jazz, dance and social clubs.

Curated and developed by the LSU Museum of Art, the exhibition features works on loan from the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Houston Museum of Fine Arts, and more. The Visual Blues presents a unique opportunity to see such a rare collection of art in one place, and learn about the lives and careers of so many important artists whose influence can still be seen on many in the arts today.

Jay Robinson (b. 1915)

Count Basie and Billie Holiday at the Graystone Ballroom, Detroit, ca. 1947

Egg tempera on gesso panel

26 x 36 in.

Private collection.