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Feb 24 2020 - 09:37 AM
Today in History: Remembering Alma Thomas

Did you know that a few years back Teachers College hosted a curated tour of alumna Alma Woodsey Thomas’ exhibition at Studio Museum in Harlem? Alma Thomas (September 22, 1891 – February 24, 1978) was an African-American Expressionist painter and art educator known for her colorful abstract paintings that were inspired by nature and moon landings. She received her MA from Teachers College in 1934; her thesis is entitled, The Marionette Show As a Correlating Activity In the Public Schools. After retiring as a school teacher at the age of 69, Thomas focused on her career as an artist, becoming an influential "colorist" who exhibited at prominent museums and galleries - The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Corcoran Gallery of Art, and The Smithsonian, among them. Based primarily in Washington, D.C. Alma Thomas drew national attention. Her painting "Resurrection" (1966), was purchased by the White House in 2014.

As we celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the Harlem Renaissance and involvement by Teachers College alumna in the movement, we highlight articles about Alma Thomas drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.


  • Try a TC Super Search using the keywords "Alma Thomas" to discover a range of interesting articles, books, chapters, dissertations and more held by the Gottesman Libraries.

  • Or a CLIO search using the keywords "Alma Thomas" to discover additional materials held by Columbia University Libraries.

  • Check out related special news displays in Everett Cafe, including James Wells, Zora Neale Hurston, Donaldson Byrd, and Marion Thompson Wright. Stay tuned for Creating a Better World: Teachers College Celebrates the Harlem Renaissance, a full program of offerings starting March 2nd!



Need to keep current, look to the past, teach a topic? The Everett Cafe features daily postings of news from around the world, and also promotes awareness of historical events from an educational context. Be sure to check the news postings on Learning at the Library, where you can delve into history.

Posted in: Learning at the LibraryNews Cafe|By: Jennifer Govan|1424 Reads