By Olive Jensen Theisen
John Thomas Biggers (1924-2001) used to be an immense African American artist who encouraged numerous others via his educating, work of art, work, and drawings. After receiving traditional paintings education at Hampton Institute and Pennsylvania nation, he had his own and creative step forward in 1957 while he spent six months within the newly self reliant kingdom of Ghana. From this time ahead, he built-in African summary parts together with his rural Southern pictures to create a private iconography. His new procedure made him recognized, as his own discovery of African history slot in good with the transforming into U.S. civil rights move. he's top recognized for his work of art at Hampton collage, Winston-Salem collage, and Texas Southern, however the drawings and lithographs that lie at the back of the work of art have obtained scant consciousness - earlier. Theisen interviewed Dr. Biggers over the past 13 years of his lifestyles, and was once welcomed into his studio innumerable instances. jointly, they chose consultant works for this quantity, a few of that have no longer been formerly released for a common viewers. After his loss of life in 2001, his widow endured to paintings heavily with Theisen, leading to a ebook that's intimate and informative for either the student and the coed.
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Additional resources for A Life on Paper: The Drawings And Lithographs of John Thomas Biggers
13 Biggers described how he had happened to draw Sleeping Boy (1952): Sleeping Boy was drawn in the doctor’s ofﬁce on a scrap of paper. I had carried my mama to the doctor’s ofﬁce, was waiting there, saw a little child asleep on a chair, sketched him on a scrap of paper. When we got home, I immediately transferred the sketch to a large sheet. 14 1952 was a signiﬁcant year for John Biggers. Biggers had been approached by Rev. Fred T. Lee to do a memorial project for his wife, this time for the Blue Triangle Branch of the YWCA, located several blocks from the Texas Southern University campus.
On December 27, 1948, they were married, but did not share a home until John had completed his studies at Penn State in the spring. He had already decided that he wanted to return to the South rather than follow the crowds of starving artists ﬂooding New York City at that time. Biggers commented: “I felt E ARLY YE ARS AND E DUC ATION , 1924 –1949 29 ﬁgure 15 First “shotgun” house drawing, pencil on paper preparation for painting 1949 that if I had anything to say, I would have to say it the South.
He was determined to provide his students with the best possible art education. In his highly inﬂuential book, Creative and Mental Growth (1953), Lowenfeld asserted that there were two basic approaches to art: through the eyes (visual) and through feelings (haptic). John recalled something Viktor had often said about ﬁgure drawing that was memorable to him: “To draw ﬁgures in motion, start with a three-minute pose, ask what part of the body is being used in carrying the weight, lifting, think, and then open your eyes.
A Life on Paper: The Drawings And Lithographs of John Thomas Biggers by Olive Jensen Theisen