365 Days of Art: July 4 – American Negro Exposition Opens with Juried Art Show

July 4, 1940

The American Negro Exposition, with a national juried art exhibition, opens in Chicago and commemorates the 75th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Dioramas featuring highlights of 7,000 years of African and American history grace the Chicago Colisseum hallway. Murals reflect accomplishments by African Americans over the past 75 years. All but one juried prize are awarded to Chicago artists. At about the same time, another exhibition featuring work by black Chicago artists is held in DC, and Chicago assumes the crown of the center of the black American arts movement.