Lamar Baker

(1908 - 1994)
Selected Works on Paper
July 23, 2016 - January 29, 2017
Woodruff Works on Paper Gallery

  • Lamar Baker (1908 - 1994) - Selected Works on Paper

  • Cornstalks and Morning Glories
    watercolor
    Lamar Baker
    bequest of the artist
    G.1995.23.75

  • Pittsburgh and Cincinnati Packet Messenger Steamboat
    pencil on paper
    Lamar Baker
    ca. 1940
    bequest of the artist
    G.1995.23.20

  • Broken Blossoms (Cotton #2)
    etching with aquatint
    Lamar Baker
    Museum purchase
    G.1987.9.6 Museum purchase

One of the many important artists to work in Columbus, Lamar Baker is best known for his vivid, frequently surrealist, depictions of Southern life. An Atlanta native, Baker moved to New York in 1935 to work and study, returning to Georgia to spend summers with family in Waverly Hall. During his years in New York, Southern life and scenery remained the focus of his art. In 1942, he won a Julius Rosenwald Fund fellowship that enabled him to travel through Mississippi and Louisiana. In August 1951, Baker settled near Columbus with his new wife, working for the Litho-Krome Company and teaching art classes.

Baker, a white male, frequently focused his work on the social issues of racial injustice and violence during the 1940s. Leading graphic arts historian and curator Carl Zigrosser described him as “one of the first native artists to reckon with the problems of the new South.” His later work often investigated issues of mortality.
Baker bequeathed roughly half of his work to The Columbus Museum, including prints, landscapes, figure studies, surrealist interpretations of African-American spirituals, and etchings of the Okefenokee Swamp.

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