Artists Past & Present

Featured Artist

Richmond Barthé, 1901-1989

Feature Image

An African American sculptor known for his many public works, including the Toussaint LOuverture Monument in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and a sculpture of Rose McClendon for Frank Lloyd Wrights Fallingwater House.
Barthe once said that all my life I have be interested in trying to capture the spiritual quality I see and feel in people, and I feel that the human figure as God made it, is the best means of expressing this spirit in man.


With the aid of his pastor, and with no high school degree, Barthé was admitted into the Art Institute of Chicago in 1924. Majoring in painting, and like many struggling artists he worked in restaurants to support himself and his art.


After his graduation in 1928, he moved to New York City (1930-1939) and established his first studio in Harlem. During this time, he developed his reputation as a Harlem Renaissance sculptor


In the mid-1930s, Barthé moved from Harlem to midtown Manhattan and made portrait busts of theatrical celebrities. He lived in Jamaica for 20 years but eventually left because of mounting violence and travelled in Europe for the next 5 years. He eventually moved back to the USA in the 1970s and settled in California where he re-established himself with the help and support of friends.

Stuart Williamson
Co-Founder of the PSSA