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A Painting By Walter Henry Williams Of A Tree In The Forest.

Walter Henry Williams (1920-1998)

Painter, printmaker, and sculptor, Walter Williams studied art at the Brooklyn Museum Art School under Ben Shahn, Reuben Tam, and Gregoria Prestopino. He also spent a summer studying art at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. In 1955, Williams won a Whitney Fellowship that permitted him to work and travel in Mexico.  He also won a National Arts and Letters Grant in 1960 and the Silvermine Award in 1963.  

Williams moved to Copenhagen, Denmark in the 1960’s to escape the discrimination of the United States, While he was in Copenhagen, he created a series of colorful woodcuts of black children playing in fields of flowers. He returned to the United States to serve as artist-in-residence at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.  Here, he completed a body of work informed by the experiences of being an African American living in the South.  Walter H. Williams died in Copenhagen in June 1988.

Williams’ work has been featured in major exhibitions including, An Ocean Apart: American Artists Abroad, Studio Museum in Harlem, NY, 1983; Unbroken Circle: Exhibition of African American Artists of the 1930s and 1940s, Kenkeleba House, NY, 1986; Black Motion, SCLC Black Expo 72, Los Angeles, CA; Two Centuries of Black American Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1972; and 10 American Negro Artists Living and Working in Europe: paintings, prints, drawings, and collages, Den Frie, Copenhagen, Denmark, 1964.

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