Henri Linton (1944–)
Henri Linton has been recognized as one of the most talented artists working in the state of Arkansas. He has also served as chair of the art department at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB).
Henri Linton was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in 1944. After discovering his artistic talents early, he soon began painting and visiting museums. To buy art supplies, he took on odd jobs such as painting signs and shining shoes. After entering a national art contest as a teenager, he won a four-year scholarship to the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio. Linton earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Boston University and a master’s degree in art from the University of Cincinnati Graduate School of Fine Arts.
In 1969, the chairman of Arkansas AM&N College (later UAPB) art department, John Howard, offered Linton a position on the faculty. With Howard as his mentor, Linton began a career teaching aspiring artists. When Howard retired as chairman in 1980, Linton took the position.
Linton has also thrived as an artist. With scores of renderings, his work is noted for its examination of Arkansas Delta aerial landscapes. His paintings received critical praise from solo shows at the Arkansas Arts Center (now the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts) in 1996 and 2000. He was the first regional artist to exhibit at the Strauss Gallery after the expansion of the Arkansas Arts Center in 2000. His work is displayed throughout the state, including in public collections at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and the Arkansas Arts Center. He has highlighted some of his works in a book he co-authored, The Art of Henri Linton: Sequences in Time and Space (2003).
Linton’s passion for African-American history and culture manifests itself in his work organizing and coordinating photographic exhibitions such as And So Shall She Reap: The Seeds of Beulah Flowers, the story of Maya Angelou’s mentor Beulah Flowers, who was the mother of a family of influential professionals; Honoring Our Roots: The Lives and Times of Isaac Scott Hathaway and John M. Howard; and Those Who Dare to Dream: The Works of Arkansas Photographer Geleve Grice.
Linton also developed UAPB’s University Museum and Cultural Center. Gathering historical photographs, papers, annuals, books, newspaper clippings, tokens, mementos, and a variety of other artifacts, Linton organized, designed, and helped construct all the displays at the museum, which houses Keepers of the Spirit: The L. A. Davis, Sr. Historical Collection, which documents the history of UAPB.
Linton is married to Dr. Hazel Linton, a member of the School of Education at UAPB. Linton was inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in 2001.
For additional information:
Clancy, Sean. “Disciplined Hands.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, February 9, 2020, pp. 1E, 3E.
“Landscape Exhibit on Display at Arkansas Arts Center in LR.” Log Cabin Democrat, June 29, 2000.
Roadarmel, Amy, and Henri Linton. The Art of Henri Linton: Sequences in Time and Space. Pine Bluff, AR: The Arts & Sciences Center, 2003.
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