Posts Tagged ‘African American figure’

Artist of the moment….Robert Gwathmey….

Robert Gwathmey was born in Richmond, Virginia in the year 1903. Though his style is associated with African Americans, Gwathmey himself was white. Gwathmey was known for creating pictures of the rural south and for painting the very human side of people of color.

The artist had a difficult childhood for reasons beyond his control. Gwathmey’s father was a railroad engineer. While still a child his father was killed in a train wreck whilst on the job. To pay the bills the older kids took jobs. This led Robert Gwathmey to see the social inequalities of his own local neighborhood.

For his collegiate education Gwathmey attended several schools. He attended the North Carolina State College, the Maryland Institute of Design, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts.

Which artist does Gwathmey remind me of the most? It  would be Ernest Crichlow. The now deceased African American painter who painted people of color with remarkable patterns and backgrounds. Below is an example of Crichlow’s style of art. Crichlow lived from 1914 to 2005. Along with artists Norman Lewis and Romare Bearden, Crichlow founded the the Cinque Gallery which gave a venue to disadvantaged artists.


Robert Gwathmey was married to professional photographer Rosalie Gwathmey. The couple had a son who became a  famous architect named Charles Gwathmey. So here we have another painter/ photographer couple similar to Georgia O’Keefe and Alfred Steiglitz. Rosalie Gwathmey enjoyed photographing people of color much in the same manner her husband enjoyed painting people of color. Below is an example of a gelatin silver print of hers. She was quite famous in the photography world and is included in the Smithsonian Museum of Art collection.


Most gelatin silver prints by Rosalie Gwathmey are selling from $2,000 to $3,000.

Price range information on Robert Gwathmey:  The artist was very prolific and made many lithographic prints that sell from $300 to $1200. Color lithographs can reach $2,000. Watercolors can range from $3000 to $9000. Works in oils range from $8000 to $72,000.

Charles Gwathmey was the couples only son and was born …… He went on to become famous for his designs of rather large industrial buildings. His company has helped design many such locales in New York city. Below is a clip of a large building that was designed by Charles Gwathmey and his firm.

Below I found a great example of a loft designed by Gwathmey and Seigel in New York city. The loft has 2 bedrooms and 2.5 baths. The cost is $2.7 million U.S. dollar$. His designs come at a hefty price!  Charles Gwathmey gained much publicity for his renovation of the Guggenheim Museum in New York.


Robert Gwathmey passed away in 1988 at the age of 85 years old.

What a very interesting family and legacy!