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ONLINE Open Studio From Home: Charles Henry Alston

Charles Henry Alston created this family portrait in bold blocks of color and lines that he made by scraping the surface of the paint with a palette knife—a tool with a blunt steel blade that artists often use for mixing or applying paint. His painterly style is both figurative and abstract. Alston wrote that this painting was “an attempt to express the security, stability, and human fulfillment which the ideal family represents.”

Together we will create colorful scratch boards. Then, we will make bold scratch art family portraits!

––Thick paper or card stock
––Crayons or oil pastels
––Dish soap
––Black tempera paint
––Thick paint brush
––Small container
––Something pointy (a chopstick, paperclip, or skinny stick)

Advanced registration required. 

About Whitney Museum of American Art

99 Gansevoort St.

Meatpacking District, NY


  • Standard hours: Sunday-Monday, Wednesday-Thursday, 10:30am-6pm; Friday-Saturday, 10:30am-10pm

  • The Whitney Museum of American Art presents the full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. The Whitney is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and exhibiting American art, and its collection—arguably the finest holding of twentieth-century American art in the world—is the Museum's key resource. The Museum's signature exhibition, the Biennial, is the country's leading survey of the most recent developments in American art.