Hayden, Palmer: Harlem Renaissance Artist

Since I did a post about the Harlem renaissance for my other blog, I thought it would be good to link the two and have a central character during the culture movement in the 1920’s. Art, writing, diaries, all of these objects stay with us for generations, Palmer Hayden was a painter who represented African American life through painting in both oils and watercolors. He became known during the Harlem renaissance. 


[Palmer Hayden]


  • Hayden was originally called Peyton Cole Hedgema, and was born in 1890. He was given the name Palmer Hayden by his commanding sergeant during World War I.
  • Hayden began drawing as a small child. Whilst trying to establish a career he encountered racism. Nonetheless he continued to go for he’s dream, working as a postal clerk, janitor, and a variety of other part-time job as he got started. 
  • At aged 36, he won $400 and a gold medal for his painting Schooners (pictured below). This was an achievement if we look at the level of racism during this period. Yet this was overcome by talent.
  • He spent some time in Paris and used he’s experience there as inspiration for he’s paintings. After Paris he tried to capture rural life as well as urban backgrounds in New York City.


Palmer Hayden
ca. 1926, oil on canvas



[Click on image to go to Images original place]

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