The National Museum of Women in the Arts is in the annual March-madness inspired #ArtMadness, in which art museums pick artworks to fill a bracket and then followers vote for their favorites. We’re in a competition with the Toledo Museum today, and our artist is a DC legend!
About Alma Thomas:
Celebrated abstract artist Alma Woodsey Thomas became Howard University’s first fine art graduate in 1921 and taught art at Shaw Junior High School for 35 years. She debuted her own painting at a Howard exhibition—at the age of 75! She was a contemporary of Washington Color School painters like Sam Gilliam, Morris Louis, and Gene Davis, but her style is distinct.
An important role model for women, African Americans, and older artists, Thomas was the first African American woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum and has exhibited at the White House three times. She was the first African American woman to have art displayed in public space at the White House, when Michelle Obama selected her work for the family dining room in 2015.
Her family home, where Thomas lived from 1907 to her death in 1978, is located in the Logan Circle neighborhood at 1530 15th Street and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.