“Alma Sewing” by Francis Criss: January Collection Highlight

High Museum of Art
Jan 13 · 1 min read

With the High’s curator of American art as your guide, learn about this portrait of a seamstress from the 1930s.

Francis Criss (American, 1901–1973) was critically acclaimed for his distinctive blend of Realism and abstraction. Alma Sewing is his most ambitious and striking work.

Painting of a black woman with emphasized, powerful hands working at her sewing desk.
Painting of a black woman with emphasized, powerful hands working at her sewing desk.
Francis Criss (American, 1901–1973), Alma Sewing, ca. 1935

In its celebration of the artist as a worker, the painting is a quintessential 1930s expression, but it also makes a personal statement: a self-portrait appears in the lower half of the seamstress’s lamp. While Alma may be viewed as the artist’s model, Criss thoughtfully presents her as a skilled professional surrounded by the tools of her trade.

Learn more with Stephanie Heydt, the Margaret and Terry Stent Curator of American Art, as she discusses this painting in the video. Alma Sewing is currently on view at the High in the Stent Family Wing, Third Level, Gallery 301. Reserve timed tickets here!

This is just one of over eighteen thousand artworks in our collection. The High is your place for digital content!

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High Museum of Art

Stories from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta

High Museum of Art

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The High is Atlanta’s art museum, bringing creativity to your everyday. Our collections, exhibitions, and programs are always here for you.

High Museum of Art

Stories from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta

High Museum of Art

Written by

The High is Atlanta’s art museum, bringing creativity to your everyday. Our collections, exhibitions, and programs are always here for you.

High Museum of Art

Stories from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta

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