Six portraits of Paul Robeson


Peter Jacobs

An art exhibition at the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University–New Brunswick this spring featured six artists and their interpretations of the rich life of alumnus Paul Robeson. The works—part of the Paul Robeson Legacy Project—were commissioned by Rutgers’ Robeson Centennial Celebration Committee, Rutgers University–New Brunswick, and the museum. From upper left: Paul Robeson, Activist, acrylic, color pencil, marker, spray paint, collage, and ink on paper mounted on panel by Esteban del Valle; Paul Robeson, Actor, oil on panel by James Hoston; Paul Robeson, Singer, acrylic on canvas by Layqa Nuna Yawar MGSA’07; Paul Robeson, Athlete, watercolor on paper by Mario Andres Robinson; Paul Robeson, Activist, acrylic, graphite, pastel, oil stick, and collage on unstretched canvas by Nell Painter MGSA’09; and Paul Robeson, Scholar, watercolor on paper by Valerie Suter. The artwork now resides at the Zimmerli as part of its permanent collection.