Vincent Smith

Vincent Smith


Vincent Smith was known for his works of art that combine stylized abstraction with social realism and African culture. It is not unlikely that Smith’s The Movers and The Shakers refers to Smith’s personal experience. In a 1980 interview with the National Scene Magazine, Smith recounts how Black artists were unwelcomed in the traditional New York art scene and how he felt inspired to evoke change:

“We were young pioneers on the brink of new discoveries…We were going to be the movers and the shakers. We went through the hallowed halls of these museums, these enclaves of idolatry, western civilization and American art, and we didn’t see anything reflect the black experience or black contribution to American culture. We knew that we were going to be scorned and ridiculed. We also knew that our achievements were going to have to take…knowledge and skill… Every fiber in our bodies was alive, man!”

The Movers and The Shakers


The Movers and The Shakers by Vincent Smith


Title: The Movers and The Shakers
Artist: Vincent Smith (1929 – 2003) 
Date: 1968
Medium: oil on canvas           
Dimensions: 40 ½ x 30 ½ inches
Accession Number: H77.69   








This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to Curatorial & Visitor Services.

Reproduction of the images contained on this page is not permitted without express permission.  If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in the collections overseen by the New York State Office of General Services, or an image of an OGS publication or archival material, please contact Curatorial & Visitor Services.