Jack Whitten


Jack Whitten (December 5, 1939 – January 20, 2018) was an American painter and sculptor. In 2016, he was awarded a National Medal of Arts.

Wikidata identifier


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Whitten initially studied medicine at the Tuskegee Institute, but moved to Louisiana to begin studying art. He became involved in the Civil Rights movement there, and subsequently moved to New York in 1960 to study at Cooper Union. His mature works were made employing combs, laminations, rakes, and squeegees to apply acrylic paint to canvas. His late works were made using chips of acrylic paint to build mosaic-like surfaces. Whitten's sculptures which he first created in New York and later at his summer home on Crete, consist of carved wood, found objects and materials including bone, marble, paper, glass, nails, and fishing line.

Country of birth

United States


Artist, painter, sculptor

ULAN identifier



Jack Whitten

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Information from the Getty Research Institute's Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License. Accessed May 23, 2024.