Cleve Overton papers, circa 1928-2022, bulk 1948-2020
This site provides access to the papers of Cleve Overton in the Archives of American Art that were digitized in 2023, and total 3,236 images.
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Cleve Overton (1928-2020) was an African American mixed media artist based in Washington, D.C. Overton was born in Staten Island, New York on September 17, 1928. From 1945 to 1948, Overton served in the military in an All-Black army unit, the 76th/933rd AAA battalion in Japan. He studied art at the New School and other New York schools. He also ran his studio, the Potter's Wheel, where he offered pottery classes, and later he founded and managed his business, Earthworks. He was a skilled welder. He also taught as an adjunct professor of art at Baruch College and the College of Staten Island, CUNY.
Overton collaborated on many projects with his wife, Jude Andreasen. They moved to Washington, D.C. in 1989. Overton traveled extensively and lived in many countries in Europe and Africa. His time in Senegal led to the creation of a photographic series which were exhibited in IFAN National Museum in Dakar and later became a book The Doors of Senegal that he published with Andreasen. The couple published a second book of photography together, and Overton wrote three other books of his own: a memoir, a book of essays, and a novel.
Overton exhibited widely and often. His mixed media art often reflected his profound commitment to environmental, social, and racial justice. He passed away in 2020.