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Wilmerding Community Celebration: Alma W. Thomas

John Wilmerding Symposium on American Art and Community Celebration

Held in collaboration with the traveling exhibition Alma W. Thomas: Everything is Beautiful and American University’s Feminist Art History Conference, the Wilmerding events will honor the lifelong creative practice and legacy of Alma Thomas (1891–1978) with an emphasis on Washington, DC, history. The exhibition demonstrates how Thomas brought together in her artmaking and teaching elements of painting, gardening, interior design, fashion, puppetry, popular music, and theatrical performance. Thomas dedicated much of her life to education—including as the first degree-recipient of Howard University’s Department of Art, graduate-level art history and painting coursework at American University, and her tenure teaching at Shaw Junior High School (1925–1960). Former First Lady Michelle Obama will virtually introduce the September 22 webinar with remarks on acquiring and living with Thomas’s Resurrection, the first work by an African American woman in the White House Collection.

Part of a citywide celebration honoring Alma Thomas’s life and legacy. Visit for more information.

Made possible by a grant from the Alice L. Walton Foundation.

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