Artist of the moment…..Charles Alston

Charles Alston was one of few African American painters working in an abstract manner. Charles Alston was born in the year 1907 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Alston was well diversified as an artist working as a painter, muralist, illustrator, and sculptor. For his artistic education Charles Alston attended Columbia University located in New York City earning a BFA and MFA.

Price range information: The artist worked in lithography, pastels, oils, watercolor, and gouache paints. Works range from $5,000 to $30,000.

The artist participated in the WPA program, and was the first African American to be given a supervisor position.

A wonderful mix here! Miles Davis plays in the background whilst we get to view many works by Charles Alston:

The first image of an African American man displayed at the White House was a bust of Martin Luther King done by the artist.

The artist came from a very unique background. His father was born into slavery but after the Civil War took it upon himself to help bring up the African American race to that of other people. His dad passed away when he was three from a sudden brain hemorrhage. His mother enjoyed the art of embroidery and his father was a competent draftsman.

As a child he enjoyed playing with clay and making sculptures.

With the passing of his father Alston and his family moved to New City. Alston was revered as a very gifted artistic student at his school.

For his collegiate education at Columbia he tried architecture first and then medicine before choosing fine arts as his major.

The artist served in the Army during World War 2. The artist also was named staff artist of the Office of War and Information and Public Relations in 1940. His drawings of people of color were printed and well known throughout the country.

Whilst teaching at the Harlem Arts Workshop Charles Alston taught the ten year old Jacob Lawrence. What a great connection! Alston was also the first African American instructor at the famed Art Students League of New York City. Alston also taught at City University located in New York City.

Charles Alston passed away in from cancer complications in 1977.

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