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Washington Color School: Press on the Washington Color School

Press on the Washington Color School

From the 1960s to Present

Kristen Tivey and Manuela Aronofsky



Resources available through The Washington Post archives hosted by ProQuest Historical Newspapers through New York Public Library:

  • Hudson, A. (1966, December 11). Two shows here demonstrate the evolution of art. The Washington Post, Times Herald, p. 151.

Critic Andrew Hudson explores the active changes within the Washington art scene in the 1960s. He refers to many Washington color painters, including Jules Olitski, Sam Gilliam, Thomas Downing, and Kenneth Noland.

  • Hudson, A. (1967, March 12). Belated tribute to a Washington pioneer. The Washington Post, Times Herald, p.K1

This article focuses on artist Morris Louis ad his role as leader in the Washington Color School. It relates to a retrospective exhibition of Louis' paintings at Washington Gallery of Modern Art but expands its view to include a thoughtful discussion of Louis' legacy, since he passed away earlier in the decade.

  • Richard, P. (1969, October 4). Corcoran's stunning show. The Washington Post, Times Herald, p. F1.

This exhibition review features a discussion of Sam Giliam's draped canvases, detailing an important shift in his practice. The exhibition and article also features work by two additional local artists Rockne Krebs and Ed McGowin.

  • Stevens, E. (1965, June 27). The hypnotic grip of elemental shapes. The Washington Post, Times Herald, p. G7.

A favorable review of the pivotal 1965 exhibition "Washington color painters" at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art. "These painters are still growing and developing--and providing Washington with the most exciting avant-garde art it has ever had," (Stevens, G7)

  • Stevens, E. (1965, July 18). Superimposed acrylics splash into the mainstream. The Washington Psot, Times Herald, p. G6.

An interview with artist Paul Reed in relation to his exhibitions at the Washington Gallery of Modern Art and Henri Gallery. This interview focuses on the artist's process and his thoughts on the color movement in America.




​​Resources available freely online:

  • Capps, K. (2017, June 2). Color, full: A timeline of the Washington Color School. Washington City Paper. Retrieved from

This "timeline" provides a very succinct overview of most of the Washington Color Painters, including their notable exhibitions.

  • Cohen, J. (2015, June 26). When the Washington Color School earned its stripes on the national stage. The Washington Post.Retrieved from 

This article was written to feature a 50-year anniversary show of Washington Color School artwork. It includes a detailed history and overview of the movement, including its influence on art history. 

  • McMahon, K. (2016, November 22). An introduction to the Washington Color School. Retrieved from 

McMahon's brief introduction to the Washington Color School gives a concise overview of the movement's objective, as well as a summary of the six men who she considers the movement's six primary artists. 



Resources available via proprietary database:

  • Rose, B. (2007). Color me Washington. Art & Antiques. 50(5).

Rose's article is one of the few scholarly writings about the history of the Washington Color School. It has brief biographies of several of the artists, a history of the movement, an explanation of its impact on the art world at large, and great descriptions of the school's artistic style. This article is accessible via the Art & Antiques database. 

  • Mahoney, J.W. (2008). To a different drum. Art in America. (96)5, 95-98.

This article primarily focuses on the Washington Color School's unique centrality to Washington, D.C. It is effectively an overview of the D.C. art world, in which the school is featured as having spearheaded the city's small, yet powerful, art scene. This article is accessible via the Art in America database.