Painter and printmaker Eldzier Cortor passed away in his son’s home on Long Island last Thursday, November 26, at the age of 99. Born in Richmond, VA and graduating from the Art Institute of Chicago, Cortor was a very accomplished artist. His paintings depicting scenes from the lives of African-Americans came at a time when other such works were buried in fringe obscurity, and broke the expectations of mainstream art. Cortor was also the recipient of a Rosenwald grant. His artwork can be seen in museums around the country- including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago.
Read more about his incredible life here.
Cortor was also mentioned in an article featured on the front page of the New York Times that details the recent acquisitions of art from many prominent black artists who were not appreciated, or even acknowledged, in their life times, by many of the country’s museums. The article tells how the new trend is not only intended to over compensate for the vast amount of neglected black artists that helped shape the history of the United States, but also to broaden the narrow view of history painted by museums that depict a male dominated, Eurocentric development of modernism. Among the other black artists mentioned in the article was Jacob Lawrence, who was also the recipient of a Rosenwald grant.