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William Christenberry

Born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1936, William Christenberry grew up in the deep south where old road signs, deteriorating buildings, and dirt roads shaped his boyhood memories. In 1954, Christenberry began his academic career at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa where he studied the fine arts and graduated with a Master of Arts in Painting in 1959. During his early career, Christenberry was primarily a painter, but began incorporating the use of photography into his working procedures. In 1961 he moved to New York. He met Walker Evans, whose photographs particularly influenced Christenberry. In 1968, Christenberry moved to Washington D.C., joining the faculty of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Design, where he continues today as a professor of drawing and painting. Since then Christenberry’s pilgrimages home to visit family in Hale County, Alabama have become occasions for his artistic inspiration. Through a variety of media, Christenberry explores the effects of time on his boyhood home by choosing subjects such as buildings, signs, and found objects. Today Christenberry’s work experiments with the many positive and negative emotional responses art can trigger. Christenberry’s international stature continues to grow as his work is featured in many museums throughout the United States and abroad.

Books by William Christenberry
Working from Memory
Other artists