Born September 22nd, 1891 in Columbus, Georgia, Alma Woodsey Thomas was a late blooming African American artist who began to paint seriously after she retired in 1960 from her decades-long career as an art teacher in the public schools of Washington, D.C. Known as an influential leader in the Washington Color School, Alma Thomas produced many important and vibrant works of abstraction, inspired by science and nature, from the landing on the Moon to the flowers most representative of our nation's capitol -- cherry blossoms and azaleas. She was the first student to enroll in Howard University's fine arts course, and went on to study at Teachers College, Columbia University. Thomas' work, Resurrection, was acquired by the White House, and she was honored with solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum in New York, as well as permanent placement of her work, Red Roses Sonata, at the Metropolitan Museum of New York.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Terrell, A (1972, Sep 09). That's Alma Thomas: Alma Thomas: Cheery Artist. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973)
- Anderson, H. (1938, Jun 25). Meet Your Neighbor. Afro-American (1893-1988)
- Shirey. D.L. (1972, May 04). At 77, She's Made It to the Whitney. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Richards, P. (1972, Apr 28). First Solo Show at 77: A Joyful Colorist. The Washington Post, Times Herald (1959-1973)
- Richards, P. (1978, Feb 25). Alma Thomas, 86, Dies; Washington Color Artist. The Washington Post (1974-Current File)
- Forgery, B. (1981, Dec 26). Alma Thomas' Odyssey In Art and Life: NMAA Honors Howard's First Fine Arts Graduate. The Washington Post (1974-Current File)
- Glueck, G. (1983, Apr 29). Art: Studio Museum Exhibits Alma Thomas. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Temin, C. (1986, Feb 27). Alma Thomas' Abstractions Rooted In Color. Boston Globe (1960-1988)
- Cotter, H. (2009, Jan 16). In the Footsteps Of Black Artists: ART. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Cotter, H. (2009, Oct 11). Colors From a World of Black and White: Critic's Notebook. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Try a TC Super Search using the keywords "Alma Thomas" to discover a range of interesting articles, books, chapters, dissertations and more held by the Gottesman Libraries.
- Or a CLIO search using the keywords "Alma Thomas" to discover additional materials held by Columbia University Libraries.
- Read a related blog, Remembering Alma Thomas, on the Library Blog
- The Eclipse, by Alma Thomas. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons / Smithsonian American Art Museum
- Special News Slid, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries
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