The Night Letter

In this painting, Cortor depicts a domestic interior featuring an older woman and a young girl. The artist's use of soft yellows, browns and reds creates an aura of warmth that surrounds the subjects. The young girl bears a distraught look on her face as she holds an opened letter in her hand. The artist highlights the girl's concern by physically hiding her body within the surrounding furniture. The older woman in the foreground appears calm and reassuring, her face reveals little of her internal thoughts (a feeling of uneasiness can be seen in her fingering the pages of her Bible). The warm glow of the kerosene lamp bathes the small space in a way that the flickering reflected in shadows on the walls seem to engulf both females as they ponder and discuss the contents of the letter.

Eldzier Cortor
36" x 30" Oil on canvas 1938

The Walter O. Evans Collection of African American Art

One of the most important collections of African American visual art dating from the 18th century to the present, the collection includes 62 works from Edward Bannister, Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Robert S. Duncanson, Richard Hunt, Jacob Lawrence and others. This collection forms the foundation of a multidisciplinary center for the study, understanding and appreciation of African American art and culture. Items from the collection have previously rotated in the Evans Center Gallery and through unique exhibitions such as the 2012 "Life's Link: A Fred Wilson Installation," and the 2017 travelling exhibition of Jacob Lawrence's work.

1938
36" x 30"
Oil on canvas
Not On View