Artist's Life #1

Artist's Life #1


Hughie Lee-Smith

(American, 1915-1999)


Image: 32.2 x 25.5 cm (12 11/16 x 10 1/16 in.)

Created by the Federal Art Project, Works Progress Administration and lent by the Fine Arts Collection of the U.S. General Services Administration 4230.1942



African American artist Hughie Lee-Smith made this lithograph when he was a faculty member at the Karamu House in Cleveland in the 1930s. Karamu House, which still thrives today, is one of the oldest African American theaters and art educational institutions in the United States. Of his period there, Lee-Smith wrote, “The late 1930s . . . found me employed on the Ohio WPA Art Project, working mainly in lithography. The artworks produced there derived their inspiration directly from my involvement in union activity and workers’ demonstrations, as well as my role as an art instructor to disadvantaged youngsters at the Karamu House.” In the image, an artist is shown creating art, teaching, and, at the upper right, participating in a demonstration in the city.

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