Moe Brooker

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Moe Brooker
Born (1940-09-25) September 25, 1940 (age 78)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Known forFabric, Painting
Spouse(s)Cheryl McClenney-Brooker
AwardsJames Van Der Zee lifetime achievement award

Moe Brooker (born 1940) is American artist. Working in painting and fabrics, Brooker employs bright colors such as "saturated pinks, mellow yellows and lime greens (that) are feasts for the eyes," as well as stripes and checked patterns.[1] He is nationally known and has received a number of awards and honors, including the James Van Der Zee lifetime achievement award.[2]


External video
IN THE STUDIO – Honoring Moe Brooker, Moore College of Art on YouTube, April 10, 2012, 27:51
A Morning With: Moe Brooker, Bruce Pinchbeck on YouTube, January 15, 2010, 2:24

Brooker was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1940.[3] He studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Tyler School of Art, graduating with a B.F.A. in 1970 and an M.F.A. in 1972.[3] He has been on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Art, Parsons School of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Moore College of Art and Design.[4]

Brooker works on canvas and paper, using acrylics as a base coat and mixing oils, oil stick and encaustic. He has been influenced by both graffiti art and music, and has moved from semi-figurative art to abstract art.[2] He credits abstractionist Wassily Kandinsky's book Concerning the Spiritual in Art (1912) as an influence on his work.[5] One of the reasons why Brooker moved to abstraction was that he wanted to paint the joyous and spiritual aspects of African-American life, but could not find figurative symbols for doing so.[2]

"If you are given a gift, using that gift in its fullest sense is true worship."[2]

His work is displayed at the Studio Museum in Harlem, Montgomery Museum of Art, the Musée des beaux-arts de l'Ontario, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.[4] He is represented by The Sande Webster Gallery in Philadelphia and the June Kelly Gallery in New York City.[2] He is a member of Recherche, an African-American artists group whose works are known for "active engagement with life and a zestful manipulation of color and pattern."[6][7][8]

Awards and honors[edit]

Moe Brooker has received a number of awards and honors. These include:[4]


  1. ^ A.M. Weaver. "Moe Brooker". Art in America. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Fabbri, Anne R. (October 24, 2003). "Brandywine Workshop honors Moe Brooker Philadelphia artist to get James Van Der Zee lifetime achievement award". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Moe Brooker", June Kelly Gallery, Retrieved 28 July 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Moe Brooker". Fabric Workshop and Museum. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  5. ^ "Moe Brooker". Tennessee Portrait Project. National Society of Colonial Dames of America in Tennessee. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  6. ^ Sozanski, Edward J. (November 8, 1991). "Recherche at the Afro-american Museum". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  7. ^ Torchia, Richard (1990). Recherche: James Brantley, Moe Brooker, Charles Burwell, Syd Carpenter, Nannette Acker Clark, Walter Edmonds, Carolynn Hayward-Jackson, Jimmy Mance, Hubert Taylor: January 8 – February 2, 1990: Levy Gallery for the Arts in Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Levy Gallery Philadelphia & Moore College.
  8. ^ Webster, Sande. "Moe Brooker: More Than An Artist". Urban Suburban Magazine. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  9. ^ "Brooker Named Artist of the Year". Moore College of Art and Design. October 12, 2010. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  10. ^ "Governor's Awards for the Arts". Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Retrieved March 26, 2015.
  11. ^ "Moe Brooker". Cleveland Arts Prize. Retrieved March 26, 2015.

Further reading[edit]

  • Akron Art Museum. Six Perspectives 1984: Moe Brooker, Kathy Buszkiewicz, Paula Dubaniewicz, Luke and Rolland Lietzke, Ed Mieczkpowski, lilian Tyrrell. Akron: Akron Art Museum, 1984.
  • Cullinan, Helen. "Cleveland Artists Exhibit Diversity." The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), October 24, 1982, p. D-10.
  • Cullinan, Helen. "A Gift Acknowledged." The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), November 17, 1990, p. 1-E.
  • Cullinan, Helen. "A Jazzy Splash of Urban Images by Moe Brooker." The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), Novemberf 7, 1982, p. C-25.
  • Cullinan, Helen. "Prize Winner Goers Back to Philly." The Plain Dealer (Cleveland, OH), May 16, 1985, page 12-D.
  • Fabbri, Anne R. (October 24, 2003). "Brandywine Workshop honors Moe Brooker Philadelphia artist to get James Van Der Zee lifetime achievement award". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved March 25, 2015.
  • June Kelly Gallery. Moe Brooker: Moments Hesitation, Recent Paintings, NY: June Kelly Gallery, 2006.
  • Kiefer, Geraldine Wojno. "Briefly Noted: Moe Brooker," Northern Ohio Live, November 1982, p. 33.
  • Mazanec, Douglas. "Brooker Matches Street Phrases with Appropriate Works." CWRU Observer, April 3, 1980
  • New Gallery of Contemporary Art. Moe Brooker. Cleveland: The New Gallery of Contemporary Art, 1980.
  • Painting Exhibit draws from Jazz, Graffiti. Cleveland Press, March 1, 1978.
  • Robert L. Kidd Associates, Inc. "Moe Brooker: February 4 - March 1, 1980." Birmingham, MI: Robert L. Kidd Associates, Inc., 1980.
  • Sande Webster Gallery. Moe Brooker: Sweet Harmony. Philadelphia: Sande Webster Gallery, 2006.