A Concert in Celebration of Artist Allan Rohan Crite
Prolific Boston artist Allan Rohan Crite (1910-2007) developed an extensive body of work featuring the daily life of ordinary African Americans as he sought “to paint people of color as normal human beings.”* As a devout Episcopalian Crite also explored themes of Christianity in his work.
In celebration of Crite’s work, and in collaboration with the New England Conservatory’s Community Performances and Partnerships Program, the Boston Athenæum is proud to present jazz ensemble Petite Feet. Petite Feet will respond musically to a selection of Crite’s works from the Athenæum’s collection.
Shane Simpson, Simón Willson, Travis Bliss, and Jon Starks comprise Petite Feet. As jazz musicians the ensemble is heavily influenced by legends of the African-American jazz tradition such as John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Thelonious Monk, to name a few. Additionally, their relationship with the visual arts forms an equally present and important aspect of their multi-dimensional musical aesthetic. They see pairing music with paintings as a unique opportunity to challenge both aspect of their musical personalities and a chance to pay tribute to the incredibly rich and beautiful African-American culture that has shaped them as the musicians, artists, and human beings they are today.
The Boston Athenæum presents this event in honor of African-American History Month. After exhibiting work at the Boston Athenæum in 1948, 1951, and 1968, Crite donated a large collection of his work to the Athenæum in 1971, including oil paintings, watercolors, ink drawings, and prints. View a selection of Crite’s watercolors and drawings online or some of his paintings which are on view in rooms throughout the building, including the Bornheimer Room and the Membership Office.
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This program is supported, in part, by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.
*As quoted in Julie Levin Caro, Allan Rohan Crite: Artist-Reporter of the African American Community(Seattle: Frye Art Museum, 2001), p. 5, 20.