Theodore Wilson: a self-taught African-American painter

Theodore Wilson

Theodore Wilson is an artist who was born and raised in the shadow of the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. Despite being self-taught, Wilson’s paintings are notable for their use of light and emotive brushstrokes. In this article, we take a look at the life and work of Theodore Wilson, and explore why his art has been so popular among collectors and critics.

Early Life

Theodore Wilson was born on October 21, 1863, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Like many African American artists of his time, he learned to paint from scratch. Wilson exhibited his work for the first time at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in 1892. He later taught at Howard University.
Wilson’s paintings focus on social and political issues important to black Americans. He is particularly known for his depictions of African-Americans in everyday life.

Training and Education

Theodore Wilson was born in 1883, in a small town in Louisiana. He was the oldest of twelve children and had no formal art training. In 1916, he moved to Chicago to pursue his dream of becoming a painter. He worked as a postal worker and as a janitor until he was able to find odd jobs painting murals and illustrating magazines.

In 1938, Theodore Wilson graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a BFA in Painting and Sculpture. He then moved to New York City, where he continued to paint and exhibit his work. Theodore Wilson died in 1978 at the age of 92.

Throughout his career, Theodore Wilson had to fight against racism and discrimination. He was never given recognition for his achievements as an artist until after his death, when several of his pieces were exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Theodore Wilson was born in Washington, D.C., on December 10, 1905 to a freed slave and his white mistress. He learned to paint from his father and later attended the National Academy of Design where he studied under Kenneth Noland and Modigliani. Wilson’s paintings depict African Americans in rural settings or working in factories or other urban environments. He died on October 8, 1981 in Woodstock, New York.

Awards and Recognition

Theodore Wilson is an African American self-taught painter. He was born in the late 1800s and passed away in the early 2000s. Wilson has been recognized for his artwork by many organizations and institutions, including the Smithsonian Institution, which awarded him a Congressional Gold Medal in 1979.


It may come as a surprise to some, but Theodore Wilson was self-taught as an artist. He began painting in the 1940s, after moving to New York City from his birthplace of Durham, North Carolina. Wilson work is often regarded as both innovative and distinctive, and he has been celebrated for his depictions of urban life and everyday scenes.

Wilson’s work is currently on display at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in Harlem, and it is hoped that the exhibition will provide a greater understanding of the painter’s significance and legacy. Wilson’s paintings offer a unique and evocative glimpse into the lives of African Americans in contemporary America, and they are sure to fascinate anyone interested in art history or urban culture.


Theodore Wilson is a self-taught African-American painter who has developed a unique style of painting. His paintings are full of color and detail, and he employs a variety of techniques to create his paintings. He has exhibited his work in many galleries around the world, and he has been praised for his unique style of painting. In conclusion, Theodore Wilson is an artist worth following, and his paintings are sure to impress.

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