Alma Thomas

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Alma Woodsey Thomas (1891, in Columbus, GA - 1978, in Washington, DC) was an American painter.


Known for her exuberantly colorful canvases filled with abstract shapes and patterns, Alma W. Thomas had her first one-woman show at the age of 68, after retiring from a thirty-five year teaching career. She accomplished many ‘firsts’ in her lifetime: in 1924, she was the first graduate of the Fine Art Department of Howard University; in 1934, the first African-American woman to gain a Master’s degree in art from Columbia University; [1] In 1972, at the age of 80, Alma Woodsey Thomas became the first African American woman to be granted a solo exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York. [2]

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