Margo Humphrey

b. 1942 in Oakland, California; lives in Baltimore, Maryland


Humphrey is a highly-regarded artist and renowned printmaker. She describes her style as “sophisticated naïve,” presenting a narrative that chronicles life, love, family, fears, and joys from a contemporary, often humorous, African American perspective. Humphrey’s personal stories can be linked to the political dynamics of the feminist art movement that emerged in the 1970s during her early years of development as an artist and printmaker. Her Tamarind lithograph The Last Bar-B-Que (1987) and The History of Her Life Written Across Her Face (1991) have become iconic images in American visual culture, demonstrating her ability to capture aspects of a larger African American cultural experience through personal memory, confessional, and a unique symbolic language.

She received her bachelor of fine arts degree from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and pursued post-graduate study at The Whitney Museum of American Art Summer Program while attending Stanford University’s Graduate School. She received her MFA from Stanford, graduating with honors. She has been the recipient of numerous fellowships and awards including The James D. Phelan Award, the National Endowment of the Arts, and the Ford Foundation. Since Humphrey’s first solo exhibition in 1965, her art has been exhibited and collected worldwide and now resides in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

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