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  • Charles H. Alston

    United States

    Art Brokerage: Charles Henry Alston American Artist: b. 1907-1977. Charles Henry Alston (November 28, 1907-April 27, 1977) was an African-American painter, sculptor, illustrator, muralist and teacher who lived and worked in the New York City neighborhood of Harlem. Alston was active in the Harlem Renaissance; Alston was the first African-American supervisor for the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project. Alston designed and painted murals at the Harlem Hospital and the Golden State Mutual Life Insurance Building. In 1990 Alston's bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. became the first image of an African American displayed at the White House. For the years 1942-1943 Alston was stationed in the army at Fort Huachuca in Arizona. Upon returning to New York on April 8, 1944, he married Dr. Myra Adele Logan, an intern at the Harlem Hospital. They met when he was working on a mural project at the hospital. Their home, including his studio, as on Edgecombe Avenue near Highbridge Park. The couple lived close to family; at their frequent gatherings Alston enjoyed cooking and Myra played piano. During the 1940s Alston also took occasional art classes studying under Alexander Kostellow. In 1968, Alston received a presidential appointment from Lyndon Johnson to the National Council of Culture and the Arts. Mayor John Lindsay appointed him to the New York City Art Commission in 1969. He was made full professor at City College of New York in 1973 where he had taught since 1968. In 1975 he was awarded the first Distinguished Alumni Award from Teachers College.The Art Student's League created a 21-year merit scholarship in 1977 under Alston's name to commemorate each year of his tenure. In January 1977 Myra Logan died. Months later on April 27, 1977, Charles Spinky Alston died after a long bout with cancer. His memorial service was held at St. Martins Episcopal Church on May 21, 1977 in New York City. Listings wanted.

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