MISS ALMA THOMAS: a life in color
Directed by Cheri Gaulke
2022, 20 minutes
Special K-12 pricing available.
Study guide available for download here. (PDF)
Alma W. Thomas broke color barriers on and off the canvas, yet did not receive national attention until she was 80.
Born a generation after slavery, Alma Woodsey Thomas grew up in the South, in a home where education was a priority. At 16, with racial tensions high and no further schooling options, her family moved to Washington, DC, where she started her incredible life of firsts: the first Fine Arts graduate from Howard University (1924), the first African-American Woman to mount a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art (1972), and the first African-American woman to exhibit her paintings in the White House (2009). All the while, she taught art at Shaw Jr. High for 36 years, pioneered educational techniques, travelled the world, and crossed racial barriers.
“Miss Alma Thomas” is the first documentary film that explores Thomas’ incredible life through the lens of curators, art specialists, scholars, and her family, and features award-winning actress Alfre Woodard as the voice of Alma Thomas. Released in conjunction with a major four-city museum retrospective, thousands will have the opportunity to learn of her life, work, and continuing influence.
Subjects & Collections
2022 American Studies American History Art History African-American Studies Education Short Films Directed by Women Women's Studies
Festivals & AwardsWinner - Outstanding Documentary - Tallgrass International Film Festival
Winner - Best Local Film - Washington DC Shorts Film Festival
Nominee - Award of Excellence - Winter Film Awards
Best in Show, AwesomeCon Film Festival
Director’s Choice, Thomas Edison Film Festival
Award Winner, Woods Hole Film Festival
Award Winner, My Hero Film Festival