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Wed, 03.22.1893

Dox Thrash, Artist, and Printer born

Sunday Morning 1939, Dox Thrash

*Dox Thrash, born on this date in 1893, was a Black artist and printer.

From Griffin, Georgia, he fought in World War I in France. Having studied for several years at the Art Institute of Chicago School, Dox Thrash settled in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Once there, he painted signs and worked on the Federal Arts Project (FAP) to earn a living. Working with the FAP in the Graphic Division, he helped invent a new "intaglio" process called the carborundum print process. The plate is printed on an etching press. This created more expressive tones and variations with prints.

His cartography explored the portraits of African Americans, landscapes, and scenes of poverty life.  "My Neighbor and the landscape" and "Deserted Cabin" are examples of Thrash’s cardiographs. In the late 1930s and through the 1940s, Thrash’s work was shown in many prominent places, including a 1942 solo exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

He was also a co-inventor of the carborundum print process.  Thrash spent the later years of his life mentoring young African American artists. He died on April 19, 1965.  In 2001 he was posthumously honored almost 40 years later with a major retrospective titled Dox Thrash: An African-American Master Printmaker Rediscovered at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

To be an Artist



A History of African American Artists from 1792 to present
by Romare Bearden & Harry Henderson
Copyright 1993 by Romare Bearden & Harry Henderson
Pantheon Books, NY
ISBN 0-394-57016-2

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