Family reading recommendations


Jazz Age Josephine, by Jonah Winter (author) and Marjorie Priceman (illustrator)


Singer, dancer, actress, and independent dame Josephine Baker felt life was a performance. Rising from a poor, segregated upbringing, Josephine Baker was able to break through racial barriers with her own sense of flair and astonishing dance abilities. She was a pillar of steel with a heart of gold—all wrapped up in feathers, sequins, and
an infectious rhythm.


Sugar Hill: Harlem’s Historic Neighborhood, by Carole Boston Weatherford (author) and R. Gregory Christie (illustrator)


Take a walk through Harlem’s Sugar Hill and meet all the amazing people who made this neighborhood legendary. With upbeat rhymes that encourage reading aloud, Sugar Hill celebrates the Harlem neighborhood that successful African Americans first called home during the 1920s. The book includes brief biographies of jazz greats Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Sonny Rollins, and Miles Davis; artists Aaron Douglas and Faith Ringgold; entertainers Lena Horne and the Nicholas Brothers; writer Zora Neale Hurston; civil rights leader W. E. B. Du Bois; and lawyer Thurgood Marshall.


Harlem Renaissance Party, by Faith Ringgold (author and illustrator)


Singer, dancer, actress, and independent dame Josephine Baker felt life was a performance. Rising from a poor, segregated upbringing, Josephine Baker was able to break through racial barriers with her own sense of flair and astonishing dance abilities. She was a pillar of steel with a heart of gold—all wrapped up in feathers, sequins, and an infectious rhythm.



Mama Mable’s All-Gal Big Band Jazz Extravaganza! by Annie Sieg (author and illustrator)


From saxophonists and drummers to trumpeters, pianists, trombonists, and singers, talented young women across the country picked up their instruments—and picked up the spirits of an entire nation—during the dark days of war. Together they formed racially integrated female bands and transformed the look and sound of jazz, taking important strides for all women in the world of music. Debut author-illustrator Annie Sieg shines a spotlight on the young women who epitomized the sound and spirit of jazz of the era while opening young readers’ eyes and ears to the role of women in music, then and now.

Cinderella: An Art Deco Love Story, by Lynn Roberts (author) and David Roberts (illustrator)


Cinderella moves into the era of flapper girls and the Charleston in a new edition of this famous tale of rags to riches. Fashion illustrator David Roberts brings all these characters to life in his meticulously researched drawings. Lynn Roberts has crafted a humorous story straight from the art deco period that perfectly complements her brother’s illustrations.



Download American Art Deco reading recommendations (pdf)



MAQ@Home

Maze activity

Make your way from start to finish through the Frist Art Museum’s original logo. Then, add color with crayons, markers, or pencils.

Motif activity

Art deco is an art and design movement that became popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Geometric shapes, symmetry, repeated patterns, and sleek, stylized imagery characterize this popular style.

Use some details from the Frist Art Museum’s building as inspiration to create your own Art Deco motif.


Martin ArtQuest

Be sure and stop by the Martin ArtQuest Gallery (MAQ) on your next visit to enjoy our Art Deco–inspired activities.

Try your hand at making an Aaron Douglas–style monochromatic masterpiece, design your own decorative object, sketch a model in a glamorous 1920’s gown, and more! MAQ is open on the same schedule as the museum (Thursday–Sunday).

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