William Aiken Walker

Artist Biography

William Aiken Walker was a prolific painter who devoted his career to chronicling plantation life in Antebellum America. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Walker exhibited his first painting at the age of twelve and moved to Düsseldorf, Germany to study art. Walker spent the rest of his life in the South, painting small-scale scenes of African American workers, cotton farms, and tobacco fields. His reputation grew when Currier and Ives published some of these works as color lithographs in 1884. Walker’s work can be found in museums throughout the South, including the Amon Carter Museum and the High Museum of Art, as well as the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Addison Gallery of American Art, and the Newark Museum.

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