Smithsonian Associates

Art Collectors Program

Artists Featured in our Collection

Luis Cruz Azaceta

Luis Cruz Azaceta

Luis Cruz Azaceta (b. 1942, Havana, Cuba) came to the United States in 1960, and studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has taught at the University of California, Louisiana State University, and Cooper Union, New York.

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Will Barnet

Will Barnet

Born in 1911 in Beverly, Massachusetts, Mr. Barnet has had a long and distinguished career as a painter, printmaker, and draftsman, and has earned the reputation of being a master at balancing the formal characteristics of abstraction with the familiar representation of the human figure. Above all, he is a humanist, infusing his work with a poetic and serene sense of people, animals, and places.

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Carolyn Brady

Carolyn Brady

For over 25 years, the Oklahoma-born (1937-2005) Ms. Brady exhibited extensively throughout the United States and Japan. Her works are included in significant public and private collections, among them the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the St. Louis Art Museum, Missouri; the J.B. Speed Art Museum, Louisville, Kentucky; and the Tampa Museum of Art, Florida.

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Elizabeth Catlett

Elizabeth Catlett

Elizabeth Catlett (1915-2012) graduated from Howard University (B.A.), where she studied under artists James Porter, Louise Mailou Jones, and Jacob Lawrence. She also attended the State University of Iowa (MFA), the Art Students League of New York, and the Chicago Art Institute."

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Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly

Dale Chihuly (b.1941, Tacoma, Washington) is credited with breathing life into the now-flourishing world of blown glass. He studied at the University of Wisconsin with Harvey Littleton, and at the Venini Glass Factory in Venice, Italy (the first American to be granted such access). In 1971, he co-founded the Pilchuck Glass Center in Stanwood, Washington, which is now the creative center of the continually expanding art-glass universe.

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Gene Davis

Gene Davis

Gene Davis (1920-1985, Washington, DC) was a self-taught artist and founding member of the Washington Color School. He taught at the Corcoran School of Art and American University and was an artist-in-residence at Skidmore College. He had over 100 one-man shows, and while he worked in many styles and media, including collage and photography, his multicolor vertical stripe paintings continue to be the most sought after.

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Willem de Looper

Willem de Looper

Willem de Looper (1932-2009, The Hague, Netherlands) was a painter and curator who studied art at American University. An acclaimed Washington painter and member of the Washington Colorist School, his work is in permanent collections at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the Philips Collection, the National Gallery of Art, and in many private collections.

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Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola

Tomie dePaola, (b. 1934, Meriden, Connecticut) is a beloved illustrator of children's books. His works include Tomie dePaola's Mother Goose, Jingle, The Christmas Clown, and The Legend of the Poinsettia. DePaola received fine arts degrees from Pratt Institute and the California College of Arts and Crafts. He is also a winner of the prestigious Caldecott Book Award.

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Eric Fischl

Eric Fischl

Born in New York City in 1948, Eric Fischl grew up in the suburbs of Long Island. He began his art education in Phoenix, Arizona, where his parents had moved in 1967. He first attended Phoenix Junior College, then spent a year at Arizona State University, and finally got his BFA in 1972 at the recently opened California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California.

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Janet Fish

Janet Fish

Born into a family of artists in Boston, Janet Fish works in her studios in New York City and in Middletown Springs, Vermont. Her paintings and prints are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Dallas Museum of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

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Sam Gilliam

Sam Gilliam

Sam Gilliam (b. 1933, Tupelo, Mississippi) is considered one of the foremost abstract artists in the United States. He studied at the University of Louisville and has taught at the Corcoran School of Art, the Maryland Institute College of Art, and Carnegie Mellon University.

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April Gornik

April Gornik

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1953, April Gornik studied at the Cleveland Institute of Art before transferring to Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Canada. Dubbed a neoromantic in the 80s then later a luminist, she is an urbanite who creates views of nature in her lower-Manhattan studio. Her paintings and prints are in major museum collections, including the National Gallery of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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Nancy Graves

Nancy Graves

Nancy Graves (1940-1995, Pittsfield, Massachusetts) was a painter, printmaker, stage designer, sculptor, and filmmaker. She received her BA from Vassar College and her BFA and MFA from the School of Art and Architecture at Yale.

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Philip Guston

Philip Guston

Philip Guston (1913–1980, Montreal) was a leading painter of the post-World War era know for his Abstract Expressionist works that often conveyed frank social commentary. Guston was essentially a self-taught artist, studying only briefly at Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. Between 1932 and 1940 he painted murals for the WPA.

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Richard Haas

Richard Haas

Richard Haas (b. 1936, Spring Green, Wisconsin) is one of the world’s leading architectural muralists and is best known for his trompe l’oeil paintings. He has created numerous “make-believe” buildings, including an entire streetscape at Manhattan’s South Street Seaport, 13 murals of New York publishing houses for the New York Public Library, Smithsonian Institution exteriors on an interior wall, and an entire exterior façade of the Boston Architectural Center.

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Art Hansen

Art Hansen

Although he is a Seattle native, Art Hansen's artistic sensibilities fuse a variety of influences from America, Europe and Japan. Following his studies at the University of Washington and the University of Minnesota, Hansen was awarded a Fullbright Fellowship, and studied in Munich, Germany. He also recieved a Pulitzer Prize for Art in 1952. The attention to subtle detail seen in his prints and his studies in Germany has earned him comparisons to Albrecht Dürer. At the same time, his stylized and deceptively simple compositions bring to mind Japanese woodblock artists such as Hiroshige.

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Jacob Kainen

Jacob Kainen

Jacob Kainen (1909-2001, Waterbury, Connecticut) studied at the Art Students League and graduated from the Pratt Institute. Associating with fellow New York school artists Stuart Davis, William de Kooning, and Mark Rothko, Kainen worked with a wide range of subjects using various styles and media.

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Robert Kushner

Robert Kushner

Born in 1949 in Pasadena, California, Robert Kushner received a BA from the University of California. It was not until 1987, after 17 years of a full and varied art practice, that Kushner began to paint with oil on stretched canvas. He approaches painting with the same delight, adventurousness, and humor that have been characteristic of his work from the beginning.

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Sol LeWitt

Sol LeWitt

Born in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1928, Sol LeWitt has had a distinguished 40-year career as a leading practitioner of Conceptual Art. His popularity is derived from his colorful floor-to-ceiling wall paintings of trapezoids, step-shapes, cubes, stars, and rainbows. His portfolio also includes wall drawings, sculptures, photographic series, limited-edition prints, and drawings.

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Carlo Mejia

Carlo Mejia

Carlo Mejia (b. 1945, San Salvador, El Salvador) is a surrealist painter who draws on stories passed down to him by his grandparents when he was growing up in San Salvador. Mejia often uses non-traditional media to symbolize the myths and stories of his Mayan heritage.

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Barry Moser

Barry Moser

One of America’s most respected wood engravers and considered one of the most important book illustrators working in America today. Born in Chattanooga Tennessee in 1940, Moser was educated at Auburn University, University of Tennessee and did graduate work at the University of Massachusetts.

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Dan Namingha

Dan Namingha

Dan Namingha (b. 1950, Pocacca, Arizona) was raised in a family of noted potters and educated in traditional Tewa-Hopi traditions. He studied at the University of Kansas, the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, and the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

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LeRoy Neiman

LeRoy Neiman

Known for his bright, colorful paintings and screen prints, LeRoy Neiman (1921-2012) is probably one of the most popular painters and printmakers in America. Neiman explores contemporary leisure, all the pastimes and places people enjoy, and the world of sports and entertainment. His style explodes with the dramatic intensity of Abstract Expressionist brush strokes.

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Lowell Nesbitt

Lowell Nesbitt

Lowell Nesbitt (1933-1993, Baltimore) attended the Tyler School of Fine Arts and Royal College of Art in England, and taught at Towson State University, the Baltimore Museum of Art, and the University of Miami. A painter and a sculptor, he received many awards, including from the Baltimore Museum of Art and the National Collection of Fine Arts.

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Otto Piene

Otto Piene

Otto Piene (b.1928, Westphalia, Germany) is an internationally acclaimed artist who studied in Munich, Düsseldorf, and Cologne. In addition to being a painter, light sculptor, designer, and environmental artist, Piene is the former director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies and professor emeritus in the Department of Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Larry Rivers

Larry Rivers

Larry Rivers (1923-2002) was a painter, draftsman, and printmaker who began his career as a jazz saxophonist. After studying at the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts and New York University, he devoted himself to art. Rivers is known for his abstract style and is often considered a forerunner of the Pop Art movement.

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Felix Martoral Rodriguez

Felix Martoral Rodriguez

Felix Martoral Rodriguez was born in 1948 in New York of Puerto Rican parents. During his adolescence he moved to Carolina, Puerto Rico, where he showed a special talent for the arts. He was admitted to the School of Fine Arts of the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture where he studied under some of the most important artists on the island ,such as Rafael Tufliio, Frank Cervoni, Luis Hernandez Cruz, Augusto Marin and Tomas Batista, among others.

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James Rosenquist

James Rosenquist

James Rosenquist (1933-2017) studied art in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and at the Art Students League in New York City. Both in Minnesota and later in New York, he was employed as a sign painter and worked on enormous displays, including billboards in New York City's Times Square.

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Mindy Weisel

Mindy Weisel

Mindy Weisel (b. 1947, Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, Germany) is a Washington, DC, artist. Her work abstractly embellishes life’s often-dark struggle for survival with brilliant colors of hope. Capturing the “feeling of the moment” is imperative to this artist who insists that she is not as interested in depicting what she sees as how she feels about what she sees. Light, movement, and the painterly exploration of color are the hallmarks of her art, which is acclaimed for its rich surfaces and dramatic horizontal and vertical gestures.

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