Alice Baber

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Alice Baber
Born (1928-08-22)August 22, 1928
Charleston, Illinois
Died October 2, 1982(1982-10-02) (aged 54)
New York
Nationality American
Education Lindenwood College for Women in Missouri.
Indiana University.
École des Beaux-Arts, Paris.
Known for Abstract painting
Movement Abstract Expressionism

Alice Baber (August 22, 1928 – October 2, 1982) was an American abstract expressionist painter who worked in oil and watercolor. She was educated in the US and traveled worldwide in the 1950s and 1960s.[1] Baber organized exhibits of women artists' work at a time when women were still struggling to gain prominence internationally.[1]


Baber was born in Charleston, Illinois. She grew up in Kansas, Illinois and Miami, Florida.[2] Her family traveled south to Florida yearly because of Alice's poor health. They settled in Illinois when World War II started. She was interested in becoming an artist from an early age and choose to study art when she attended Lindenwood College for Women in Missouri and at Indiana University.[3] She also studied at the École des Beaux-Arts and lived in Paris in the late 1950s and 1960s.[3]

In 1958, Baber had her first solo show in New York at March Gallery where she was a member. In that same year, she was also granted a studio residency at the Yaddo Art Colony.[4] From 1976–78, Baber traveled to 13 Latin American countries with the U.S. State Department, exhibiting her work and lecturing on art.[5] In 1979, Baber was an artist-in-residence at the Tamarind Institute print workshop.[6]

She was married to painter Paul Jenkins from 1964 to 1968.

The Baber Midwest Modern Art Collection of the Greater Lafayette Museum of Art in Indiana and the Alice Baber Memorial Art Library in East Hampton, New York are both named in her honor. Numerous major galleries in the United States own her works including the Guggenheim, Whitney, Metropolitan, and the Museum of Modern Art.[7][8]

Baber died of cancer in 1982.[5]


Baber began her career working primarily in oils, but began experimenting with watercolor paints in the 1950s.[9] Her experimentations with watercolor initiated a shift in style for Baber as she went from painting still lifes to creating more abstracted works.[10] Her abstract works focus on color and form with shapes such as the circle being a common motif. Baber was well known for her use of light and color holding several exhibitions devoted to these themes.[11]

In 1958, Baber turned 30 and was working on a still life, Battle of the Oranges, to enhance her compositional strength. As she was working, she perceived the circle as possessing an infinite range of possibilities for exploring color and light. She told Brian Jones that she was looking for a "way to get the light moving across the whole thing" in Battle of the Oranges.[12] This creative inspiration became fundamental to her artistic approach.

In 1958, Baber was granted a studio at the Yaddo Art Colony.


  1. ^ a b "ALICE BABER". 
  2. ^ Cummings, Paul. "Oral history interview with Alice Baber". Smithsonian Archives of American Art. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  3. ^ a b "Alice Baber". Art in Embassies. US Department of State. Retrieved January 7, 2014. 
  4. ^ Moore, Sylvia. "Alice Baber." Woman's Art Journal v.3 no.1, Spring-Summer (1982): 40-44
  5. ^ a b "Alice Baber, 54, Artist Of Lyrical Abstractions". New York Times. Retrieved January 7, 2104.  Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  6. ^ Moore, Sylvia. "Baber, Alice" North American women artists of the twentieth century: a biographical dictionary. 1995
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ The Watercolors of Alice Baber Alexandra de Lallier Woman's Art Journal, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Spring - Summer, 1982), pp. 44-46
  10. ^ The Watercolors of Alice Baber Alexandra de Lallier Woman's Art Journal, Vol. 3, No. 1 (Spring - Summer, 1982), pp. 44-46
  11. ^ ALICE BABER: LIGHT AS SUBJECT McCoy, A. ART INTERNATIONAL (SWITZERLAND)24.1-2 (Sep.-Oct. 1980): 135-140.
  12. ^ Moore, Sylvia (Spring–Summer 1982). "Alice Baber". Woman's Art Journal 3 (1): 40 to 44. doi:10.2307/1357929. 

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