The James Weldon Johnson Memorial Collection of African American Arts and Letters is pleased to announce the acquisition of 7 sketchbooks of drawings by African American artist Masood Ali Wilbert Warren. Warren attended the Art Students League in New York (1932-1935) and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in mural painting from New York University in 1939, and a Master of Fine Arts with a major in sculpture at Temple University in 1961. Warren is a celebrated artist and sculptor whose work documenting the daily lives of African Americans in New York City and elsewhere is unparalleled.
The sketchbooks date from the 1930s and 1940s and include hundreds of the artist’s pencil sketches of African American women and men, animals, machinery, and other subjects. Many of the sketches were probably made by Warren when he served as a sergeant in the Quartermaster Corps of the United States Army. Many sketches depict African American soldiers in the then-segregated military. The inside covers of some volumes include holographic inscriptions by Warren in English, Arabic script, and phonetic Arabic. (MM)