This Day in Black History: April 27, 1972

This Day in Black History: April 27, 1972

This Day in Black History: April 27, 1972

Painter and sculptor Charles Henry Alston died in New York City.

Published April 27, 2014

Charles Henry Alston began establishing himself as a talent to be reckoned with while still a student at Columbia University, where he majored in fine arts and history. Alston, who died on April 27, 1972, in New York City, was an integral figure of the Harlem Renaissance.

Alston was first drawn to art after discovering the illustrated love letters his father had written to his mother during their courtship. Later, when his widowed mother remarried and moved the family from Charlotte, North Carolina, to New York, Alston served as the art editor for his high school's literary magazine. After graduating from Columbia, Alston earned a master's degree from the university's Teachers College. During his student years, he also began establishing himself as an artist by illustrating album covers for jazz great Duke Ellington and book covers for poet Langston Hughes.

He was the first African-American to serve as a supervisor for the Federal Art Project, through which he oversaw the creation of the Harlem Hospital Center's murals. In addition, he taught and mentored the extraordinary talents Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden and other major African-American painters. Alston also was the first African-American to teach at New York's famed Museum of Modern Art and the Art Students League and to be appointed to the Art Commission of the City of New York.

Follow Joyce Jones on Twitter: @BETpolitichick.

BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter. 

Get ready for the BET Experience, featuring Mary J. BligeMaxwellJill ScottA$AP RockyRick Ross and many more. Click here for more details and info on how to purchase tickets.

(Photo: Wiki Commons)

Written by Joyce Jones


Latest in news