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About This Book
A biography of the artist and first African American man to become a professional conservator for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Felrath Hines was born in 1913 and raised in the segregated Midwest after his parents left the South to find a better life in Indianapolis. While growing up, he was encouraged by his seamstress mother to pursue his early passion for art by taking Saturday classes at Herron Art Institute. In 1937, he moved to Chicago, where he attended the Art Institute of Chicago in hopes of making his dreams a reality. The Life and Art of Felrath Hines: From Dark to Light chronicles the life of this exceptional artist who overcame numerous obstacles throughout his career and refused to be pigeonholed because of his race. Rachel Berenson Perry tracks Hines's determination and success as a contemporary artist on his own terms. She explores his life in New York City in the 1950s and '60s, where he created a close friendship with jazz musician Billy Strayhorn and participated in the African American Spiral Group of New York and the equal rights movement. Hines's relationship with Georgia O'Keeffe, as her private paintings restorer, and a lifetime of creating increasingly esteemed Modernist artwork, are part of the story of one man's remarkable journey in twentieth-century America. Featuring exquisite color photographs, The Life and Art of Felrath Hines explores his life, work, and significance as an artist and as an art conservator.