Home > African American, Art, Artists, Family, New York, North Carolina > Charles Henry Alston papers, 1930s-1990s (bulk 1930s-1970s).

Charles Henry Alston papers, 1930s-1990s (bulk 1930s-1970s).

October 12, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

Creator: Alston, Charles Henry, 1907-1977.
Collection number: 4931
View finding aid.

Abstract: African-American artist Charles Henry Alston, nicknamed “Spinky,” was born 28 November 1907 in Charlotte, N.C. He was the youngest of five children born to the Reverend Primus Priss Alston, who was born into slavery in Chatham County, N.C., and Anna Miller Alston. After Primus’s death, Anna married Harry Pierce Bearden, artist Romare Bearden’s uncle, and moved the family to New York in 1913. Charles Alston worked as a painter, sculptor, graphic artist, illustrator, and educator, gaining national and international recognition. His works are found among the holdings of individuals and permanent museum and gallery collections around the world. Alston married Myra Logan, a noted surgeon at Harlem Hospital. The collection includes artwork, photographs, correspondence, exhibition catalogs, and publications documenting the life and work of Charles Alston. Included are materials pertaining to Charles’s father, Primus Priss Alston; his wife, surgeon Myra Logan; and other Alston and Logan family members and associates. Also included are letters from Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, and Hubert Humphrey; cartoons Alston created for the United States Office of War Information during World War II; items relating to commissioned mural paintings; and non-commercial photographs featuring James Earl Jones, Joe Louis, and Lena Horne, all at young ages.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: The collection includes artwork, photographs, correspondence, exhibition catalogs, and publications documenting the life and work of Charles Alston. Included are materials pertaining to Charles’s father, Primus Priss Alston; his wife, surgeon Myra Logan; and other Alston and Logan family members and associates. Also included are letters from Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, and Hubert Humphrey; cartoons Alston created for the United States Office of War Information during World War II; items relating to commissioned mural paintings; and non-commercial photographs featuring James Earl Jones, Joe Louis, and Lena Horne, all at young ages.

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