30 September 2011

Robert Gwathmey


This week, I wandered into a bookstore and came across The Life and Art of a Passionate Observer written by Michael Kammen, which featured the two paintings above. Gwathmey was an eighth-generation Virginian of Welsh heritage. He is remembered as the first white American painter to depict African Americans in an unromanticized, yet respectful manner.

I'm really looking forward to an enlightening read. I am particularly interested in getting a peek into the mind of Gwathmey, a man who was under FBI surveillance due to his activism and involvement in the civil rights movement. Thinking about this reminds me that art is not just about the theory, but also about the people conveying messages through them.

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