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Back to Early Alma Thomas at Hemphill Artworks

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As a founding member of the Barnett-Aden Gallery in 1943, Thomas interacted with artists Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Lois Mailou Jones, and others. As the post-war era accelerated, Washington painters were quick to embrace the abstract expressionist movement. Thomas’s realist works pushed toward abstraction in the 1950s as she pursued an MFA in painting at American University, where she …

As a founding member of the Barnett-Aden Gallery in 1943, Thomas interacted with artists Romare Bearden, Jacob Lawrence, and Lois Mailou Jones, and others. As the post-war era accelerated, Washington painters were quick to embrace the abstract expressionist movement. Thomas’s realist works pushed toward abstraction in the 1950s as she pursued an MFA in painting at American University, where she deepened the pursuit of a bold use of color and shape which defined her late career works.

Throughout the 1950s, Thomas appropriated the tools of Abstract Expressionism and characteristically made them …