Alma Thomas | the artist

The artist Alma Thomas
Pseudonym: Alma Woodsey Thomas
Born Sept 22 1891, Columbus, Georgia, USA.
Died Febr 24, 1978, Washington, D.C., USA.
Style and technique of the artist: Painting,

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The papers of African-American painter and art instructor Alma Thomas date from 1894-2000 (bulk 1936-1982), and measure 4.4 linear feet. They provide documentation of Thomas' artwork, exhibitions, teaching career at Shaw Junior High School in Washington, D.C., and her relationships with friends and colleagues.

Alma Thomas created a series entitled Earth Paintings, marking a turning point in the development of her style. This series focused on subjects from nature, particularly wind and flowers. Breeze Rustling Through Fall Flowers, an early example, was inspired by the artistÂ’s natural surroundings in Washington, such as the azaleas at the Botanical Gardens, the cherry blossoms, and fall foliage. Thomas's primary visual source was the image of a holly tree pressed against the living-room window of her Washington home. The designs formed by the leaves upon the panes, and the interrupted patterns of light and shade cast on the floor and walls of her kitchen, inspired the flickering motion of her brushstrokes. The irregular daubs of color represent the motion of leaves and flowers in the wind...

Watusi (Hard Edge)

The first graduate of Howard University's art department, Alma Thomas created mosaic-like abstractions in brilliant colors, an artistic style she developed in the 1960s. Her non-traditional painting technique, vivid optical effects, and geometric compositions were her way of exploring her emotional responses to the natural world. Inspiration ranged from the garden outside her window to space exploration...

Starry Night with Astronauts is the final work in Space Series, a group of abstractions by Georgia-born Alma Thomas, who pursued a full-time career as an artist during the 1960s after retiring from teaching art in Washington, D.C. Thomas began her Space Series in 1969, in response to the Apollo missionsÂ’ space explorations and moon landings. This work was inspired by the 1889 painting The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)...