No artist chronicled Black American life in Chicago during the middle of the twentieth century more insightfully than Archibald J. Motley, Jr. Motley moved with his family to Chicago as a young child. After graduating from the School of the Art Institute, he began painting scenes of everyday Black American life in the city. A mature work by the artist, "Hot Rhythm" has flattened, collapsed, and fragmented dancers and a band arranged in rhythmic order. The stylized and energetic musicians and dances conveys the lively rhythms of the jazz concert.


  • Title: Hot Rhythm
  • Creator: Archibald J. Motley, Jr.
  • Creator Birth Place: New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Date Created: 1961
  • Location: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  • Physical Dimensions: 39 7/8 × 48 1/4 inches (101.3 × 122.6 cm)
  • Type: Painting
  • Publisher: Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  • Rights: © Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
  • External Link: https://nasher.duke.edu/stories/archibald-motley-hot-rhythm-1961/
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Art Form: Painting
  • Credit Line: Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina. Gift of Mara Motley, M.D., and Valerie Gerrard Browne in honor of Professor Richard J. Powell and C.T. Woods-Powell and in memory of Archie Motley.

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