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Biographie Be Alma Thomas Achieved Maturity In The Arts ,More Updated Information 2023

The work of African-American artist Alma Thomas (1891-1978) is easily recognizable by its characteristic style: planes of color composed of tiny rectangles about the size of a thumb.

Because Thomas devoted most of her professional life to teaching art to middle school students, she is only peripherally involved with major art groups like the Washington School of Colorists, which flourished in the 1950s and 1960s and featured artists like Kenneth Noland and Anne Truitt.

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A Brief Biography Of Alma Thomas

Alma Woodsey Thomas Is Her Complete Name.

Artist and teacher who pioneered abstract expressionism
Minority Education Struggle in Washington
A native of Columbus, Georgia, she was born on September 22, 1891.

John Harris Thomas and Amelia Cantey were their parents. Thomas
Washington, D.C. on February 24th, 1978 was the date of his death.
Both Columbia and Howard for my education.
Some of His Works Include: “Sky Light” (1973), “

  • Iris, Tulips, Jonquils, and Crocuses” (1969), “Watusi (Hard Edge)”
  • (1963), “Wind and Crepe Myrtle Concerto” (1973), “
  • Air View of a Spring Nursery” (1966),
  • “Milky Way” (1969), “Flowers at Jefferson Monument”
  • (1977), “Red Rose Sonata” (1972), “Breeze Ru (1970)
    Important Quotation: “

I place a high value on the use of color in my paintings. I’ve tried to shift my focus away from man’s inhumanity to man and toward things like beauty and joy through the use of color.”

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Earlier Years

In 1891, as one of four daughters, Alma Thomas entered the world in Columbus, Georgia. She grew up in a culturally rich environment as the daughter of a successful local businessman and a seamstress.

Members of her family reportedly hosted literary and artistic salons where guests like Booker T. Washington brought the world into their home.

Alma Thomas, pictured in black and white next to one of her abstract circle paintings.
Alma Thomas’s retrospective at the Whitney Museum in 1972.

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Thomas and her family relocated to Washington, D.C. when she was a teenager to get away from the bigotry they had to endure in the South despite their popularity and relative wealth among the town’s Black community.

When the local library wouldn’t let them in and there wasn’t a high school that would admit them, the Thomas family decided to relocate so that their daughters could get a proper education.

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Concentric Circles Symbolism Consisting Of Concentric Yellow Circles With Orange, Purple, And Blue Centers

Artistic Learning

Thomas, at the age of 30, enrolled in the historically black Howard University in Washington, D.C. While at Howard, she studied under renowned Black artists such Lois Mailou Jones and James V.

Herring, who established the university’s art program. Thomas received his degree in the fine arts in 1924, becoming the institution’s first alumnus in that field.

Not only was she the first African-American woman to have a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City in 1972, but she also had a retrospective at the Corcoran in Washington, D.C., the following year.

Thomas’s formal schooling continued after she graduated from Howard. She earned her Master’s degree in art education from Columbia University and spent a semester studying art in Europe through Temple University’s Tyler School of Art.

French Impressionists like Claude Monet and Berthe Morisot had a profound impact on Thomas, who was inspired by their attention on still life and landscape.

Participation In The Intellectual Community Of Color

Thomas’s instructor Los Mailou Jones started a literary circle in Washington, D.C., during the 1940s that was comprised mostly of Black public school art teachers, and Thomas was an active member of the group. The annual meeting would culminate in an art show including the participants’ creations.

Black and green accents complement the brick front of this corner home.
The home on Logan Circle in Washington, DC where Thomas lived for the majority of her life.

Images in the Public Domain or Archived from the Wikipedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported
Thomas also exhibited at the Barnett Aden Gallery, a Black owned and controlled non-profit art gallery founded in 1947 by James V.

Herring and Alonzo Aden, where she also served as Vice President (both of whom were founding members of the Howard University Art Gallery).

The gallery was one of the few venues to display African painters alongside their White counterparts on equal terms. It’s fitting that Thomas displayed in such a democratic venue, as she said on the occasion of her Whitney retrospective, “

when I was a little girl in Columbus, there were things we could do and there weren’t… We weren’t allowed in museums, and we certainly weren’t allowed to think of displaying our artwork there. Wow, how the world has altered. Just have a peek at me.

Achieved Maturity In The Arts

Thomas retired from her job as an art teacher at the age of 69, after having taught for 30 years. It was not until the 1960s that she began developing the style for which she is now known.

The varying light that would come through the leaves of the trees in her garden led her to create a piece for an alumni art show at her alma mater.

Thomas claims she started painting her trademark abstractions to reflect her “concept of what it’s like to be an astronaut, exploring space” and the “heavens and stars.” Her first one-woman exhibition was held in 1960 at the Dupont Theatre Art Gallery.

Rohit Prasad
Rohit Prasad
I am enthusiastic and quick learner who covers daily topics and news to update you as well as myself


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