At the beginning, Albert J. Tulk took to his canvas with a historian’s eye. His faithful renditions of everyday life in Liberia some 90 years ago were as painterly as they were precise. As his time there lengthened, his style shifted with his paintings and drawings gaining greater life and movement.
“In his diary, he talks about that,” says Christopher Steiner, a professor of art history and anthropology at Connecticut College. “When he got to Liberia, his style is more ethnographic. He is trying to document the people and what they are doing and how he saw them. But, he became frustrated with that approach … and has to move beyond representation to show how the African influence has affected him on a deeper level.”