Original Art: Barkley L. Hendricks: Birth of the Cool

Barkley L Hendricks

On a visit to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts a few months ago I came across a series of oil portraits by painter, Barkley L. Hendricks.  Philadelphia born and raised, Hendricks is a pioneer in black portraiture, painting life-sized images of African-American men and women from the Northeast.

Barkley L Hendricks

Barkley L Hendricks

To me, his painting are quintessential Philly.  The images remind me of the photos of my mom and dad from the 70s – sporting big afros, and out-of-this-world outfits.

Barkley L Hendricks

You can see paintings from Hendricks’ career, dating back to 1964, in his Birth of the Cool exhibit.  Check out Duke University’s Nasher Museum of Art for a catalog of the show, and some behind-the-scenes video of Hendricks with his works.

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