A prominent abstract painter of the 1960's and 70's, Alma Thomas was the first African American woman to have a solo art exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC, in 1971. She is the featured artist for January, 2016, in my Woman Artist Series.
Alma Thomas was a successful Washington Expressionist painter and art educator, despite the barriers presented by her race and gender. She did not, however, turn to racial or feminist issues in her art -- believing rather that the creative spirit is independent of race or gender. She viewed nature as a colorful, abstract mosaic.
|Thomas, at her opening in the Whitney Museum, 1972|
9. Alma Thomas retired from teaching in 1960, at the age of 70, to focus on what she called her "serious painting". This is when she evolved her signature style and was finally recognized as a professional artist.