Building More Stately Mansions is a 1944 oil painting by Aaron Douglas, a prominent figure of the Harlem Renaissance. In this painting, Douglas combines elements of Art Deco, Synthetic Cubism and African art and culture to signify the African Americans’ contributions to major parts of history and the workforce. The color purple used in the painting symbolizes royalty from both ancient and modern times. The unique art style of Building More Stately Mansions features a group of men working in the foreground with famous monuments in the background.
The painting pushes Douglas’s work from the Harlem Renaissance into a forward vision of modernity by developing a modernist idiom that references Southern landscapes and Harlem nightlife, traditional spirituals and contemporary jazz.
Aaron Douglas was an artist whose works highlighted Black heritage, history, experiences, and identity. His artwork influenced and advanced many elements found in contemporary Black art today. As such, Building More Stately Mansions is not only an excellent piece that speaks to significant experiences but also supports generations after it via its popularity as historical significance. Overall this critical piece portrays deep history characterized by originality emphasizing positivity for both past and future events concerning Afro-American culture; hence has been extensively utilized in galleries worldwide as reference material denoting influences towards modern-day artworks depicting blackness accurately.