Eldzier Cortor, The Room, Mounted Print

In 1971, The Room became the first painting to enter The Studio Museum in Harlem’s fledgling collection.

Initially drawn to abstraction while a student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Eldzier Cortor decided that a realistic, representational style better suited his desire to depict contemporary African-American life. Here, the woman’s planar features and elongated neck are informed by the strong sculptural forms that Cortor first saw in carved African figures and masks at Chicago’s Field Museum of Natural History. 

11 3/4 x 16 1/2 in.

Eldzier Cortor (1916–2015)
The Room
, 1949
Oil on masonite
9 7/8 × 7 7/8 in.
The Studio Museum in Harlem; gift of Katrina McCormick Barnes  1971.1