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The Murals

The Artists

Introduction

Charles Alston

Alfred Crimi

Vertis Hayes

Georgette Seabrooke

The Controversy

The WPA in Harlem

The Artists | Vertis Hayes

Georgette Seabrooke (b. 1916), also known by her married name, Georgette Seabrooke Powell, was an award-winning art student at the prestigious Cooper Union in New York when she received the commission to be the youngest master artist on the Harlem Hospital mural project. After completing that project, she created a mural at Queens General Hospital for the WPA.

Born in Charleston, South Carolina, Seabrooke grew up in the Yorkville neighborhood of New York City. As a young woman she studied at the Harlem Art Workshop with James Wells and at the Harlem Community Art Center with Gwendolyn Bennett. She later studied theater design at Fordham University and would become a lifelong artist, art therapist, and educator. In 1959 she moved to Washington, D.C., and soon thereafter pursued the art of assemblage, compositions using scraps and found materials. In 1970 she founded Operation Heritage Art Center, renamed Tomorrow's World Art Center in 1975. A registered art therapist since 1972, Seabrooke earned her B.F.A. from Howard University in 1973. Always active in the art and mental-health communities, she has won numerous art and service awards. Her work has been exhibited at the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Chicago Public Library, the Library of Congress, the New York Public Library, the Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History and Culture, and at galleries in Washington, D.C., Dallas, and New York.

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