Friday, July 1, 2011

Spotlight: Alma Thomas

Alma Thomas was born in Columbus, Georgia in 1891. She spent most of her life teaching children, but worked hard to become an artist, too. She is known as an African American Expressionist painter. She was a skilled realist painter, but abandoned those methods because of her art professors. Her work is often compared to beautiful, Byzantine mosaics, and they are known for their color.

Though Thomas passed away in 1978, she would have been proud to know that her Watusi painting (inspired by Henri Matisse's The Snail) hung in the office of First Lady Michelle Obama. A few years ago, there was a lot of controversy surrounding this painting, as the appropriation of the image seemed inappropriate.

You can learn more about Alma Thomas at The New Georgia Encyclopedia.

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