Social Realism

Sam Middleton

A Harlem native, Sam Middleton studied and worked internationally from Mexico to the Netherlands where he joined a contingency of American artists living abroad to escape racism and the lack of opportunities for African American artists in the states. His abstract expressionist works were deeply influenced by his love of music, both classical and jazz. One can almost hear the music in the lively brushstrokes in his work Social Realism, which was completed the same year he settled permanently in the Netherlands. 


Sam Middleton, Social Realism, 1964, Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts Foundation Collection: Purchase, William H. Bowen Family Foundation Fund. Photography by Edward C. Robison III. Spanierman Modern/Estate of Sam Middleton.