Modern Negro Art Paperback
Porter's work analyzes the important developments and individuals in African American painting and sculpture from the pre-Civil War period to World War II. "James A. Porter was an art historian, educator, curator, and visual artist. He is first remembered by academics as an art historian who taught some of the best minds and visual artists who studied at Howard University during the span of his teaching career. "A pioneer in establishing the field of African American art history," writes Jeffreen M. Hayes, who rightly declares that:
James A. Porter was instrumental as the first scholar to provide a systematic, critical analysis of African American artists and their works of art. An artist himself, he provided a unique and critical approach to the analysis of the work. Dedicated to educating and writing about African American artists, Porter set the foundation for artists and art historians to probe and unearth the necessary skills essential to their artistic and scholarly endeavors. The canon is borne from Porter's determination to document and view African American art in the context of American art."