Carmenita Higginbotham is Associate Professor of Art History and American Studies at the University of Virginia. She specializes in American art of the late 19th and earlier 20th centuries with an emphasis on urban art, critical race studies, and American popular culture of the 20th century. Her recent book, titled The Urban Scene: Race, Reginald Marsh and American Art (Penn State UP, 2015), examines African American representation in the 1930s.
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The 1935 drawing To the Lynching! by artist Paul Cadmus was for New York audiences a call to action. Completed for the NAACP-sponsored exhibition An Art Commentary on Lynching, the work moved beyond much of the eras socially conscious art that advocated progress in response to adversity broadly defined in favor of protest art that demanded a direct response to explicit acts of injustice.