Rhythm of Resilience: The Artistry of Sam Middleton opens at Hammonds House Museum

You’re invited to embark on a mesmerizing journey through the life and works of Sam Middleton, a pioneering mixed-media artist whose vibrant creations echoed the rhythms of Harlem jazz and the landscapes of Europe’s Low Countries. Born in New York in 1927, Middleton’s artistic odyssey transcended borders and he left an indelible mark on both sides of the Atlantic. Rhythm of Resilience: The Artistry of Sam Middleton opens at Hammonds House Museum on May 17 and runs through August 18, 2024. There will be an opening night reception from 6:30-9 pm with the first opportunity to view the artwork, and there will be light bites and music. RSVP HERE.

In Rhythm of Resilience, Middleton’s artistic evolution unfolds amidst the vibrant culture and pulsating beats of jazz and classical music in Harlem. His encounters with creativity at the Savoy Ballroom ignited a lifelong passion for self-expression.

Venturing beyond his hometown, Middleton’s voyages with the US Merchant Marines provided him with inspiration, infusing his art with a global perspective. From the sun-soaked shores of Mexico to the tranquil landscapes of Sweden, each destination left an imprint on his ever-evolving aesthetic. Moving to the Netherlands in 1961, Middleton, joined a wave of African American artists drawn to its creative environment. Settling in Schagen, amidst the serene North Holland polder landscape, Middleton’s work blossomed, blending the vibrancy of jazz with the tranquility of his surroundings.

A master of collage, Middleton’s compositions pulsate with energy, weaving together musical scores, photographs, and graphic elements in a dance of color and form. His art is a testament to the enduring influence of jazz, intertwining with the visual influence of his adopted homeland.

Through teaching positions at esteemed institutions Atelier 63 in Harlem and the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands, Middleton’s legacy extended beyond his own creations, nurturing a new generation of artistic talent.

Hammonds House Museum would like to acknowledge Spanierman Modern and the Estate of Sam Middleton for giving us this opportunity to exhibit such a strong body of work.

*Artwork featured in this release: Newport by Sam Middleton, 1992.

Hammonds House Museum is a 501(c)3 arts organization whose mission is to celebrate and share the cultural diversity and important legacy of artists of African descent. The former residence of the late Dr. Otis Thrash Hammonds, a prominent Atlanta physician and passionate arts patron, the museum is in a beautiful Victorian home at 503 Peeples Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30310. Hammonds House Museum’s 2024 exhibitions are supported by a series of workshops, public programs and civic engagement activities which serve as companions to the works and opportunities for the community to have a deeper experience with the art. For information about upcoming events, to join the mailing list, become a member, or plan your visit, go to the website: hammondshouse.org.

Hammonds House Museum is generously supported by Fulton County Board of Commissioners through the Fulton County Department of Arts and Culture, Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta, City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, National Performance Network, The Estate of Dr. Doris Derby, as well as donors and members.

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