James Washington

(American, born 1911, died 2000)

Late artist James Washington Jr.'s sculptures and paintings address issues of racism, identity, and truth. They are informed by a deep spirituality. Washington is most known for his stone carvings.

James Washington Jr. was born in Mississippi during the Jim Crow era of segregation. He began his artistic career organizing an exhibition of black artists sponsored by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. He and his wife moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1944, where he studied with celebrated Seattle painter Mark Tobey. An important figure in the Seattle artistic community for decades, he was the subject of several major museum retrospectives at the Frye Art Museum, the Bellevue Arts Museum, and the Washington State History Museum. He was honored with a Washington State Governor's Arts and Heritage Award in 1970.