Fralin Museum of Art announces In the Shadow of Stalin

The Fralin Museum of Art announces In the Shadow of Stalin. The Patterson Family in Painting and Film an exhibition on view August 23 – December 22, 2014.

In 1932, the theater designer Lloyd Walton Patterson (b. Bronx, New York 1910 – d. Moscow 1942) went to the Soviet Union with Langston Hughes and several other African American artists and intellectuals to make a film, Black and White, sanctioned by the communist government about racism in the United States. Though the film was never made, Patterson stayed in the USSR, marrying the artist Vera Aralova with whom he had three children. While Patterson never achieved fame as an artist, his son, James Lloydovich Patterson, was celebrated for his role in director Grigori Aleksandrov’s popular 1936 film Circus and later achieved recognition for his poetry.

This exhibition—composed of painting, film, posters, and archival materials— will examine the Patterson family’s history in order to engage larger issues, such as the remarkable journey made by these artists and intellectuals and artistic production under Stalin.