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Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas. Photography by Edward C. Robison III.

Lunar Rendezvous—Circle of Flowers

Artist: Alma Thomas (1891 - 1978)
Date: 1969
50 × 48 in. (127 × 121.9 cm)
Framed: 52 in. × 49 7/8 in. × 1 3/4 in.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas, 2015.2
Signed: l.r.: A W Thomas '69 verso, u.r.: Alma W. Thomas / 1530 15th St. N.W. / Washington DC
On View
Accession Number: 2015.2
Provenanceto Delilah Williams Pierce [1904-1992], Washington, D.C.; by descent to Mediel W. Spence (her daughter), Washington, DC, 1992; by descent to Wanda Spence McDow (her daughter), Washington, D.C.; purchased by (Pensler Fine Art, Washington, D.C.); (Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, New York, NY); purchased by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR, 2015
Label TextBy arranging rhythmic brush strokes in a circle, Alma Thomas responded to the first image of Earth taken from the moon in 1969. She arranged color in mosaic-like patterns, aligning her with a group of painters in Washington, DC known as the Washington Color School.

Thomas devoted her life to teaching art in Washington, DC public schools. Retiring at the age of 69 gave her more time to focus on her work. In 1972, when Thomas was 81 years old, her work was featured at The Whitney Museum of American Art, making her the first African-American Woman to have a solo exhibition at a major American art museum.