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Allen Stringfellow

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Information about Allen Stringfellow

Profile image of Allen Stringfellow

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Collage Artist
Watercolor Artist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Florida
Favorite Quote:
God is good.

Birthplace

Born:
7/9/1923
Birth Location:
Champaign, Illinois

Profession

Category:
ArtMakers
Occupation(s):
Collage Artist
Watercolor Artist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Florida
Favorite Quote:
God is good.

Birthplace

Born:
7/9/1923
Birth Location:
Champaign
See how Allen Stringfellow is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Allen Stringfellow was born on July 9, 1923. He was raised by his deeply religious great-grandmother, who would take Allen to open-air baptisms performed by their church in Champaign, Illinois. Although he did not live with his parents, who resided in Chicago, Stringfellow would often visit his mother and father, a jazz musician and nightclub manager.

Allen showed promise in his artistic abilities at a very young age. He enrolled in art classes at the University of Illinois in Champaign, and finished his training at the Art Institute in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. After graduating, Stringfellow moved to Chicago where he taught print techniques at the South Side Community Arts Center as part of the National Youth Administration program. Later, as general manager of Armand Lee's well-known framing company, he worked with the most prestigious designers in the country. His influence in the art community steadily increased and, by 1960, Stringfellow owned an original art gallery in Chicago's Old Town community.

As with many artists, Stringfellow examines themes which have been important in shaping his life. His artwork often includes religious and jazz imagery. Many of his most famous pieces are inspired by baptismal scenes from his youth, including "Red Umbrella Down by the Riverside" and "Going to Lay Down My Sword and Shield." Although he has explored many artistic traditions, Stringfellow is currently working with collage and watercolor, examining the depth and movement that can be achieved through these mediums. Inspired by the late William S. Carter, Stringfellow refers to him as his best friend and motivator.

Stringfellow has been the recipient of numerous awards. His signature works include "Ladies Day", "The Gallery" and "All That Jazz". His works have been shown in many galleries, including the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Historical Society and DuSable Museum of African American History.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Allen Stringfellow interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Allen Stringfellow's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Allen Stringfellow remembers his father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Allen Stringfellow remembers his mother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Allen Stringfellow shares some anecdotes about his siblings
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Allen Stringfellow recalls his childhood in Champaign, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Allen Stringfellow discusses his early interest in art
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Allen Stringfellow recalls his childhood religious involvment
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Allen Stringfellow describes his childhood home, Champaign, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Allen Stringfellow discusses skin color in his family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Allen Stringfellow describes his childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Allen Stringfellow remembers his adolescent years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Allen Stringfellow discusses the Works Progress Administration and the National Youth Administration
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Allen Stringfellow describes living in a 'kichenette'
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Allen Stringfellow recalls his first encounter with the South Side Community Art Center, Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Allen Stringfellow remembers influential figures at the South Side Community Art Center
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Allen Stringfellow discusses his early watercolor paintings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Allen Stringfellow discusses his parents' social status
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Allen Stringfellow recalls the art fairs of his early career: Part I
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Allen Stringfellow describes creative jobs he held in the 1940s and 1950s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Allen Stringfellow recalls the art fairs of his early career: Part II
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Allen Stringfellow discusses his contemporaries' artistic approaches
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Allen Stringfellow remembers William Carter and other artistic role models
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Allen Stringfellow describes working with Armand Lee and creating the Wells Street Art Fair
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Allen Stringfellow describes his experiences working under Armand Lee's tutelage, part 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Allen Stringfellow discusses his experiences under framer Armand Lee's tutelage, part 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Allen Stringfellow details the evolution of his art
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Allen Stringfellow describes his typical buyers
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Allen Stringfellow explains the influence of music and religion on his works
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Allen Stringfellow describes his encounter with an influential New York art figure
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Allen Stringfellow considers other artists' influence on his work
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Allen Stringfellow details the emergence of black collectors of his works
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Allen Stringfellow discusses his piece 'Red Umbrella Down by the Riverside'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Allen Stringfellow recalls hat-making, the inspiration for his piece 'Ladies Day'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Allen Stringfellow discusses the inspiration for his piece, 'The Gallery'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Allen Stringfellow shares anecdotes on the inspiration for his piece, 'All that Jazz'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Allen Stringfellow discusses the inspiration for his piece 'Gonna Lay Down my Sword and Shield'
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Allen Stringfellow examines his mentor-mentee relationship with artist, William Carter
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Allen Stringfellow discusses his signature color, red
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Allen Stringfellow reflects on his career as a collage artsist
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Allen Stringfellow describes emotional resposes to his art
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Allen Stringfellow shares advice to aspiring artists
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Allen Stringfellow expresses the importance of art in black culture and history
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Allen Stringfellow considers his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Allen Stringfellow considers family members' responses to his art
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Photo - Allen Stringfellow in his dashiki period on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois, ca. 1950s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Photo - Allen Stringfellow in his signature red clothing on the North Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Photo - Allen Stringfellow attempts papier mache figures in Florida
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Photo - Allen Stringfellow with an Italian friend in Florida, ca. late 1980s, early 1990s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Photo - Allen Stringfellow at an outdoor cafe, Paris France, ca. 1990s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Photo - Allen Stringfellow with co-workers, including Armand Lee, Chicago, Illinois, ca. early 1980s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Photo - Allen Stringfellow presents his painting of a Sugar Hill, Brooklyn, New York, mansion
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Photo - Allen Stringfellow presents his painting 'Gonna Lay Down My Sword and Shield,' 1996
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Photo - Allen Stringfellow presents his painting of a Chicago, Illinois church
  • Tape: 5 Story: 13 - Photo - Allen Stringfellow presents his collage, 'Ladies Day,' 1999
  • Tape: 5 Story: 14 - Photo - Allen Stringfellow presents a painting of a dance troupe
  • Tape: 5 Story: 15 - Allen Stringfellow discusses his representative, Nicole
  • Tape: 5 Story: 16 - Allen Stringfellow shares his thoughts on spirituality and art