Famous American Artists & Painters

For a layman, alien to the world of art, there barely exists any difference between a million-dollar Picasso and finger paintings of an inebriated gorilla. Blame it on the elites who have made art their exclusive domain and don’t mind coughing up fortunes on photos of dead crows. No wonder, art now flourishes solely in wealthy cultures. Having said that, an appreciator of aesthetics and art cannot ignore the incredible artistic achievements of painters who have wowed the world with their unbelievable, eye-popping paintings. From sculptures bursting out of paintings to incredibly intricate non-photo shopped scenes, the world of art has evolved extensively since Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” or Picasso’s “Guemica”. Sadly not too many people know about such enterprising artistes today. Now only if your thought that great art died with the Dalis and the Goghs, know that the contemporary world is replete with many such incredible artistes who have left a last impression on world’s canvass. Let us explore the biography, trivia and facts about some such famous American painters.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol.
11
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 6, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 22, 1987

Andy Warhol was an artist and filmmaker who played a key role in the visual art movement. Thanks to his extensive body of work, he has been the subject of various films, books, and retrospective exhibitions. Described as the bellwether of the art market, some of Warhol's works are among the most expensive paintings ever sold.

 2 Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat.
8
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 22, 1960
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: August 12, 1988

Jean-Michel Basquiat was an American artist whose legacy has had an influence upon fashion, film, music, and literature. He serves as an inspiration to street artists as he started off as one, painting graffiti on buildings. After his death, at the age of 27, the value of his work has increased; in 2017, one of his paintings sold for a record $110.5 million.

 3 Jackson Pollock

Jackson Pollock.
6
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 28, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Cody
Died: August 11, 1956
Abstract Expressionist artist Jackson Pollock pioneered the drip technique or action painting, which involved moving his whole body to paint on a horizontal surface. Unfortunately, he struggled with alcoholism and died in a car accident, while drunk driving. He inspired a Pulitzer Prize-winning biography and the 2000 film Pollock.

 4 Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe.
6
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: November 15, 1887
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, United States
Died: March 6, 1986
Artist Georgia O'Keeffe enriched American modernism and precisionism with her artwork, mostly water color and charcoal paintings. She was the first female artist to have a retrospective at New York’s MOMA. Her paintings focused on the cityscapes and landscapes of New York and New Mexico, and abstract flowers.

 5 Bob Ross

Bob Ross.
12
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: October 29, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Daytona Beach, Florida, United States
Died: July 4, 1995

Painter, art instructor, and television host, Bob Ross, gained international fame as the creator and host of the instructional TV show, The Joy of Painting. He served in the United States Air Force for several years before embarking on a career as a painter. He had a deep love for animals and cared for several injured squirrels, armadillos, and snakes.

 6 Mark Rothko

Mark Rothko.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 25, 1903
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Daugavpils, Latvia
Died: February 25, 1970

Considered part of the New York school of painters of the 1940s, Mark Rothko was best known for his signature color field paintings, consisting of vertically set rectangular patches of color. A significant figure of the Abstract Expressionist movement, he also experimented with murals and mythological themes.

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 7 Matthew Gray Gubler

Matthew Gray Gubler.
19
Famous As: Actor, Director, Model, Painter
Birthdate: March 9, 1980
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Las Vegas

American actor, Matthew Gray Gubler, is best known for playing the character of Dr Spencer Reid in the popular and acclaimed television series Criminal Minds. He has also acted in films like 500 Days of Summer, Suburban Gothic and How to Be a Serial Killer. He won a Daytime Emmy Award for his role in the television series, The Beauty Inside.

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 8 Edward Hopper

Edward Hopper.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 22, 1882
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nyack
Died: May 15, 1967

 9 Stephen Hillenburg

Stephen Hillenburg.
7
Famous As: Animator
Birthdate: August 21, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Lawton, Oklahoma
Died: November 26, 2018
Stephen Hillenburg is best known as the creator of SpongeBob SquarePants, the fifth-longest-running animated series in the U.S, which earned him two Emmys and six Annie Awards. He was initially a marine biologist and an instructor at the Orange County Marine Institute. He died of ALS, a neurodegenerative disease.

 10 Jack Kirby

Jack Kirby.
4
Famous As: Comic Book Artist
Birthdate: August 28, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: February 6, 1994
Jacob Kurtzberg, or Jack Kirby, initially published comics under various other pseudonyms, such as "Jack Curtiss" and "Curt Davis." He worked with Marvel, where he co-created characters such as The Fantastic Four and the X-Men, along with Stan Lee. He then joined DC, where he created the Fourth World Saga

 11 Fred Gwynne

Fred Gwynne
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 30, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: July 2, 1993

Best known for his towering height, Fred Gwynne was the perfect choice for the role of Herman Munster in The Munsters. The actor and singer was a Harvard alumnus. He excelled in swimming and had also served the U.S. Navy. He later also wrote and illustrated popular children’s books.

 12 Gary Burghoff

Gary Burghoff.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 24, 1943
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bristol, Connecticut

Gary Burghoff is an American actor who is credited with originating the popular role of Charlie Brown in the 1967 Broadway musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. He is also known for originating the role of Walter Eugene O'Reilly in the 1970 black comedy war movie MASH and the popular TV series of the same name.

 13 David Bromstad

David Bromstad.
4
Famous As: TV Personality
Birthdate: August 17, 1973
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cokato, Minnesota, United States
David Bromstad is an American television personality and designer who won the first season of the popular reality competition TV show HGTV Design Star in 2006. After winning the show, he landed an opportunity to host his own television shows on HGTV. He also has a line of accessories and home furniture available through Grandin Road.

 14 Margaret Keane

Margaret Keane.
5
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 15, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nashville, Tennessee

 15 Norman Rockwell

Norman Rockwell.
6
Famous As: Painter & Illustrator
Birthdate: February 3, 1894
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 8, 1978

Painter and illustrator Norman Rockwell became famous for the cover illustrations of everyday life he created for The Saturday Evening Post. He was associated with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for over six decades and produced covers for their publications and calendars. A prolific artist, he made more than 4,000 original works in his lifetime.

 16 Melissa Villaseñor

Melissa Villaseñor
4
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 9, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Whittier, California, USA

 17 Tom Franco

Tom Franco.
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: April 14, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Palo Alto, California

Tom Franco is an American artist and actor. He is credited with founding the Firehouse Art Collective, an art gallery in Berkeley, California. The younger brother of actor and filmmaker, James Franco, Tom Franco followed in the footsteps of his brother to become an actor before exploring his skills as an artist.

 18 Daniel Stern

Daniel Stern
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 28, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bethesda, Maryland, United States U.S.

American actor, artist, director, and screenwriter Daniel Stern is best-recognised for playing the tall and dim-witted thief Marv Murchins in first two films of the Home Alone franchise. He is also noted for his role in the film City Slickers and its sequel; voice-role in the TV series Dilbert; and for directing the sports-comedy film Rookie of the Year.

 19 Gloria Vanderbilt

Gloria Vanderbilt.
9
Famous As: Artist, Actress
Birthdate: February 20, 1924
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York
Died: July 17, 2019

Gloria Vanderbilt was an American fashion designer, actress, author, and socialite. As a child, she was subjected to a child custody trial, which the press named trial of the century due to its high-profile nature. As a designer, Vanderbilt is credited with developing and popularizing designer blue jeans. She also launched a line of household goods and perfumes.

 20 Gus Van Sant

Gus Van Sant
4
Famous As: Film Director
Birthdate: July 24, 1952
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Gus Van Sant is considered one of the most prominent auteurs of the New Queer Cinema movement. The American film director is famous for movies that deal with homosexuality. Also admired as a painter, photographer, and musician, Sant has released two musical albums and a novel. Van Sant’s famous films include Drugstore Cowboy, Good Will Hunting, Elephant, and Milk.

 21 Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons
5
Famous As: Sculptor, Painter
Birthdate: January 21, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: York

 22 Jasper Johns

Jasper Johns
5
Famous As: Painter, Sculptor, Costume designer
Birthdate: May 15, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Augusta

 23 Samuel Morse

Samuel Morse.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 27, 1791
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Charlestown, Boston
Died: April 2, 1872

 24 Alexander Calder

Alexander Calder
5
Famous As: Sculptor, Painter
Birthdate: July 22, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lawnton
Died: November 11, 1976

 25 Swizz Beatz

Swizz Beatz
8
Famous As: Record producer, Entrepreneur, Painter, Rapper, Singer, Businessperson, Songwriter
Birthdate: September 13, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York City

 26 Jay Pharoah

Jay Pharoah
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: October 14, 1987
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chesapeake, Virginia, United States

 27 David Choe

David Choe
4
Famous As: Street artist
Birthdate: April 21, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

 28 Grant Wood

Grant Wood
4
Famous As: American painter
Birthdate: February 13, 1891
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Anamosa
Died: February 13, 1942

 29 Roy Lichtenstein

Roy Lichtenstein.
11
Famous As: Painter, Sculptor
Birthdate: October 27, 1923
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, U.S.
Died: September 29, 1997

 30 Thomas Kinkade

Thomas Kinkade.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: January 19, 1958
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sacramento, California, United States
Died: April 6, 2012

Painter Thomas Kinkade is remembered for his realistic and idyllic themes. He gained fame by selling printed copies of his art through the Thomas Kinkade Company. He called himself the "Painter of Light” and copyrighted the phrase, too. The movie Thomas Kinkade's Christmas Cottage was based on his life.

 31 Ross Marquand

Ross Marquand
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 22, 1981
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fort Collins, Colorado, USA

 32 James Abbott McNeill Whistler

James Abbott McNeill Whistler.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 11, 1834
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lowell
Died: July 17, 1903

 33 Martin Mull

Martin Mull.
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 18, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois
Actor/comedian Martin Mull soared to fame with the soap Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and its spin-off, Fernwood 2 Night. He also delivered an Emmy-nominated performance in Veep and voiced a role in Danny Phantom. An avid painter, too, he has held various exhibitions and released a book of his paintings.

 34 Robert Crumb

Robert Crumb.
4
Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: August 30, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Robert Crumb is a cartoonist whose work displays a satire of contemporary American culture. Crumb played a major role during the underground comix movement of the 1960s, contributing to the movement's seminal works. He is credited with founding Zap Comix, the first major underground comix series. In 1991, he was inducted into the Will Eisner Comic Book Hall of Fame.

 35 Thomas McDonell

Thomas McDonell.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 2, 1986
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York

 36 Will Sampson

Will Sampson
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 27, 1933
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Okmulgee, Oklahoma, USA
Died: June 3, 1987

 37 Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 24, 1836
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: September 29, 1910

 38 Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth.
4
Birthdate: July 12, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania,, United States
Died: January 16, 2009

 39 Buck Taylor

Buck Taylor.
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 13, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States

 40 Mary Cassatt

Mary Cassatt.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 22, 1844
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Allegheny
Died: June 14, 1926

 41 Robert De Niro Sr.

Robert De Niro Sr.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: May 3, 1922
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Syracuse, New York, United States
Died: May 3, 1993

 42 Wes Borland

Wes Borland
4
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: February 7, 1975
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, USA

 43 Gutzon Borglum

Gutzon Borglum.
4
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: March 25, 1867
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: St. Charles, Idaho, United States
Died: March 6, 1941

 44 Robert Rauschenberg

Robert Rauschenberg.
4
Famous As: painter
Birthdate: October 22, 1925
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Port Arthur, Texas
Died: May 12, 2008

 45 Carmine Giovinazzo

Carmine Giovinazzo
4
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: August 24, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Richmond [now Staten Island], New York City, New York, USA

 46 Chuck Close

Chuck Close.
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 5, 1940
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Monroe

 47 Brandon Charles Boyd

Brandon Charles Boyd.
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 15, 1976
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Van Nuys, Los Angeles, California, United States

 48 John James Audubon

John James Audubon.
4
Famous As: Naturalist, Painter, Ornithologist
Birthdate: April 26, 1785
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Les Cayes
Died: January 27, 1851

 49 Erika Cosby

Erika Cosby
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: April 8, 1965
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States

 50 Heather Hunter

Heather Hunter
6
Famous As: Actress
Birthdate: October 1, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA