Charles Alston

An African American painter amongst the most prominent of the Harlem Renaissance, Charles Alston (1907-1977) began his journey in the arts in DeWitt Clinton High School, located in his hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina. It was here that Alston received his first oil paints and learned of his aunt Bessye Bearden’s art salons where both Duke Ellington and Langston Hughes were regular attendees. After graduating in 1915, it became clear that Alston’s exposure to the art world had stuck with him: his lack of interest in programs such as architecture and pre-med resulted in his returning to art via Columbia University’s fine arts program. Read more