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Alma W. Thomas: A Retrospective of the Paintings Paperback – September, 1998

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

A pioneering figure in African American art history, Driskell has been honored on his retirement from the University of Maryland with an exhibition of selected works from his seminal collection. This accompanying catalog is intended as an homage to Driskell as scholar, teacher, artist, patron, and collector. The selected works were created from the mid-1800s to the early 1990s and are here grouped into historical periods based on the content of the art and what they say about the social, ethnic, and creative roles of the artists. Unique emphasis is placed on the influence of African American art teachers and institutions in fostering the development of black art. Essays by distinguished scholars provide background to the collection; especially interesting is Sharon Patton's history of African American art collecting. Narratives notes that Alma Thomas (1891-1978) "contradicted assumptions about appropriate subject matter and styles for African American artists [and]...rejected suggestions that she paint `black' subjects." The Fort Wayne Museum, IN, exhibition and catalog of over 50 of her paintings clearly demonstrates that Thomas's work is firmly rooted in the modernist tradition of abstractionAwith emphasis on vibrant colors generating geometric forms set in dynamic compositions. Four scholarly essays explicate her work and unique role in modern American art as a black woman artist. Both of these volumes are highly recommended for libraries with an interest in art and/or ethnic studies.AEugene C. Burt, Art Inst. of Seattle Lib.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Pomegranate; 1 edition (September 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764906860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764906862
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #966,254 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Peter P. Fuchs on November 26, 2007
Format: Paperback
The recent celebration of the Color Field painters in Washington DC, of which Alma thomas is considered a part, has provided the opportunity to enjoy her ravishing works again in several venues. This catalogue which was produced for the much under-appreciated show which toured the country has got going for it that it provides a comprehensive look at at her work from different periods. But having seen the show on its stop in Tampa, I can say that the illustrations don't convey the effect of her painting all that well. In person the painting have unflinching devil's -in the-details sort of beauty which verges on the colorfully tragic. This sets her apart from the other Color Field painters whose beautiful but blowsy works range from the classically handsome works of Kenneth Noland to the quite tragic works of Morris Louis (at least that is how the curators of the recent Morris Louis show at the Hirshhorn have definitely tried to have Louis come across) That Alma Thomas, one of the greatest of African American artists had a more lapidarian sense of beauty I can attest by a test-piece on paper we own by her which I look at every day. Here she goes through subtle gradations of her well known srtrokes, varying hues and intensity with an assurance which is riveting. To me it shows the enormous control that her large-scale paintings took and the very hard-won inevitability to her color compositions. That she lived quite close to my own house, in a house on 15th St., N.W. in DC is even more reason to do her homage.
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By Marsha.L.S on September 24, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful. I was at the new Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC recently and was spellbound by one of her paintings. I've delighted in spending more time in her company in this book, seeing more examples of her work, and learning more about her. A keeper.
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Format: Paperback
Great collection of articles that shed light on Alma Thomas 's life, career, and art, and especially how her experiences fit within the culture of her time. The photographs of her work also show her use of variation of colors to create the flicker and depth found within her paintings.
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By lady locks on October 5, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the only thing I could find to purchase with any of Alma Woodsey Thomas' work. I only wish I could have seen the actual exhibit back in the '90s.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Wonderful book about a fabulous painter. So inspirational for me as an artist. I am thoroughly enjoying this book about some very unique works.
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