Expanding the Legacy: New Collections on African American Art

Bob Thompson papers

Donated in 2006, 2010, 2011, and 2012 by Elaine Plenda, the artist's sister–in–law

The painting career of Bob Thompson (1937–1966) began in the late 1950s and ended with his premature death less than a decade later. Thompson became quickly and highly regarded for his reworkings of traditional compositions of "Old Masters" such as Raphael and Goya, into which he integrated vibrant colors and modernist shapes. Influenced by jazz, Thompson's art is full of freedom and rhythm.

Thompson's personal papers were initially organized by Carol Plenda Thompson, Bob Thompson's wife, and richly detail the painter's dynamic life and career.