Thelma Streat was a favorite black artist among First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the King and Queen of England, actor Vincent Price and dancer Katherine Dunham. In 1947, only four African American artists were known to have solo showings of their artwork in New York City. They were Romare Bearden, Norman Lewis, Rose Piper and Thelma Johnson Streat.
Born in Yakima, Washington, Streat received training from top west coast art schools in the 1930’s. She began painting at age seven. Not only was she an accomplished artist, but Streat was also a talented singer and modern dancer. She was known to combine her talents when presenting her works of art. When Streat joined the Works Progress Administration in the 1940’s, she began painting the black struggle, which angered the KKK. She received death threats when she pained ‘Death of a Negro Sailor’ which had a political undertone. ‘Death of a Negro Sailor’ envisioned a black sailor dying after risking his life abroad to protect the democratic rights he was denied at home. The piece had been on display in Hollywood in 1943.
Streat’s most famous piece was called “Rabbit Man,” which was picked up by the Museum of Modern Art in 1942, making her the first black woman to hold such an honor. As for her interpretive dance, she learned from island natives after traveling abroad and studying with the Haida Indians. Streat was requested for a dance performance by Buckingham Palace in 1950. While briefly living in France, she became the first black woman to have her own television show, which showcased her talent, in 1949.
Streat left her thumbprint all over the world. Streat and her husband, producer John Edgar Kline, created “Children’s City” in Honolulu to introduce kids to the arts. She also created “The Negro In History” visual education program for kids through a series of murals in 1948.
Thelma Streat died in May, 1959. Her legacy is nurtured by the Thelma Johnson Streat Project in Lake Oswego, Oregon. Her piece entitled ‘Girl With Bird’ (oil on paper, 1950) is currently featured in the collection owned by Larry and Brenda Thompson at the Knoxville Museum of Art. Her piece entitled ‘Black Virgin,’ is featured in the collection at Reed College. Her work is also included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Mills College in Oakland, California, the San Francisco Museum of Art, and the Honolulu Academy of the Arts.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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