Ashley Bryan & Langston Hughes: Sail Away

October 7, 2022 through January 22, 2023
Watercolor showing three quater view of styalized figure holding yellow flower with hands pressed against eachother. Yellow, green, blue and brown waves are in the background.

From the 1960s onwards, the artist Ashley Bryan has created and illustrated children’s books that celebrate Black life and Black creativity. This exhibition focuses on his 2015 book Sail Away, in which Bryan paired poems by Langston Hughes on the subject of water—oceans, seas, rivers, and rainstorms—with his own vibrant cut-paper collages. The original collages, now in the Morgan’s permanent collection, will be joined by paintings, prints, photographs, recordings, and some work in unusual formats, such as Bryan’s puppets made from sea glass, shells, and other found materials, to explore the conversation between these two great Black artists and the role of seas and rivers in their work.

Ashley Byan, The Negro Speaks of Rivers (from Sail Away) 2015, recto, 2021.25:17. The Morgan Library & Museum, Gift of the Ashley Bryan Center, 2021.2517r. Photography by Janny Chiu, 2021. © 2015 The Ashley Bryan Center. Used with Permission. All Rights Reserved.