See more objects with the tag music, dance, jazz, nightlife.

Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.


  • Work on this object ended.


  • Work on this object began.



  • You found it!

Blues, 1929

It was created by Archibald J. Motley Jr.. It is dated 1929. Its medium is oil on canvas.

Archibald Motley Jr.’s Blues captures the sights and sounds of a black-and-tan nightclub in the late ’20s, where patrons could be free from the strictures of white society. He painted this work while on a Guggenheim Fellowship in Paris but returned in 1930 to become a significant figure in the Harlem Renaissance and in the lively Chicago arts scene.

It is credited Collection of Mara Motley, MD, and Valerie Gerrard Browne.

  • Evening Dress, ca. 1924
  • silk, metallic yarn, glass beads, compound weave.
  • Lent by Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Museum Collection,....
  • 51.2016.2

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

36 × 42 in. (91.4 × 106.7 cm)

It is signed

Lower Right Corner: "A.J. Motley, Jr. / Paris"

We have 1 video that features Blues, 1929.

"Lost Your Head Blues," Bessie Smith (1926)

Bessie Smith might be the most popular blues artist from the 1920s. Known as the “Empress of the Blues,” she is heard on “Lost Your Head Blues” with Fletcher Henderson on piano and Joseph...

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition The Jazz Age: American Style in the 1920s.

This object may be subject to Copyright, loan conditions or other restrictions.

Use of this image must also be in compliance with our terms of use.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Blues, 1929 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=15 September 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>