“Red azaleas singing and dancing rock and roll music” – Alma Thomas

Alma Woodsey Thomas (September 22, 1891 – February 24, 1978) was an African-American Expressionist painter and art educator.

In 2009 two Alma Thomas paintings were chosen by First Lady Michelle Obama to be exhibited during the Obama presidency. Sky Light, on loan from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, hangs in the Obama family private quarters. The choice of Thomas for the White House collection was described as an ideal symbol for the Obama administration by New York Times art critic Holland Cotter, who described Thomas’ work as “forward-looking without being radical; post-racial but also race-conscious.” [Wikipedia]

artist: Alma Thomas 1976

artist: Alma Thomas 1976


The pieces chosen for display in the White House were Watusi (Hard Edge) and Sky Light:

image credit: Ida Jervis c1968

image credit: Ida Jervis c 1968


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