James Baldwin(1924-1987), Writer and critic
James Arthur Baldwin
Sitter in 1 portrait
Born in Harlem, Baldwin was brought up in New York by his mother and stepfather, a church minister. At the age of thirteen, he wrote Harlem - Then and Now, his first article for his school magazine. On his nineteenth birthday in 1943, he witnessed the Harlem race riots which were to feature in his essay Notes of a Native Son. His works include Remember This House which was adapted for cinema as the Academy Award-nominated documentary film I Am Not Your Negro. Many of Baldwin's fictional works, including his second novel Giovanni's Room (1956), daringly explored personal questions and dilemmas concerning race, sexual orientation, class and integration, making him an important and influential voice in American literature.
Watch our playlist exploring scientific techniques used by the Gallery to unlock the secrets behind our Tudor portraits.
Subjects and themes
Search the collection by themes - from pets to weddings!
Black History Month
Take a tour exploring our Collection created by Alayo Akinkugbe for Black History Month in 2020.
A Picture of Health
Learn about pioneers in medicine, health and social reform from 1840 to 1920.