Media File
Walter Williams
Date: American artist, 1920–1998
Biography: Walter Williams was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1920 and attended the Brooklyn Museum Art School following service in the Second World War. There he studied under Ben Shahn, Gregorio Prestopino, and Reuben Tam. He continued studies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 1953 under Jack Levine. In 1955, Williams was awarded a John Hay Whitney Foundation fellowship and traveled to Denmark, where he would ultimately settled in the late 1970s. His print, Girl with Butterflies #2, was purchased in 1965 for the Executive Wing of the White House during Lyndon B. Johnson’s administration, and other prints and paintings are in major public collections throughout the United States and abroad including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Williams served as artist in residence at Fisk University in 1968, and major solo exhibitions were presented at the Roko Gallery in New York in 1954 and the Studio Museum in Harlem in 1982. The artist died in Copenhagen in 1998.

Williams began woodcut printing in the mid-1950s, exploring similar themes that he had in painting—landscapes populated with children, flora, and fauna.