Famous Black Artists & Painters

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

Vote for Your Favourite Artists & Painters

 1 Jay Pharoah

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

 2 Patrisse Cullors

Patrisse Cullors
6
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: June 20, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, U.S.

 3 Jacob Lawrence

Jacob Lawrence
4
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: September 7, 1917
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Atlantic City, New Jersey, United States
Died: June 9, 2000

A master of what he called dynamic cubism, 20th-century American painter Jacob Lawrence experimented with a variety of media, such as tempera, cardboard, and paper.  His narrative painting consisted of scenes from Black history. The Migration of the American Negro remains one of his best creations.

 4 Henry Ossawa Tanner

Henry Ossawa Tanner
3
Birthdate: June 21, 1859
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Died: May 25, 1937

 5 Faith Ringgold

Faith Ringgold
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: October 8, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Harlem

 6 Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr.

Cassius Marcellus Clay Sr.
0
Famous As: Father of three-time World Heavyweight Champion Muhammad Ali and Rahman Ali
Birthdate: November 11, 1912
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Died: February 8, 1990

 7 Elizabeth Catlett

Elizabeth Catlett
3
Famous As: Best known for her depictions of the Black-American experience in the 20th century
Birthdate: April 15, 1915
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: April 2, 2012
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 8 Kerry James Marshall

Kerry James Marshall
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: October 17, 1955
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.

Kerry James Marshall is an American professor and artist renowned for his artworks and paintings of Black figures. His work has inspired and influenced contemporary artists like Hank Willis Thomas. In 2017, he was mentioned in Time magazine's list of 100 most influential people. Marshall has also taught at prestigious institutions like the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC).

 9 Charles Alston

Charles Alston
3
Famous As: Painter, Sculptor, Artist, Muralist, Teacher
Birthdate: November 28, 1907
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Charlotte
Died: April 27, 1977

 10 Theaster Gates

Theaster Gates
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 28, 1973
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois

 11 El Anatsui

El Anatsui
3
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: 1944 AD
Birthplace: Anyako, Volta Region, Ghana

 12 Ernie Barnes

Ernie Barnes
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: July 15, 1938
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Durham, North Carolina, United States
Died: April 27, 2009

 13 Theodosia Okoh

Theodosia Okoh
4
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: June 13, 1922
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Effiduase, Gold Coast
Died: April 19, 2015

 14 Clementine Hunter

Clementine Hunter
4
Famous As: Folk Artist
Birthdate: November 30, 1886
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Natchitoches Parish, Louisiana, United States
Died: January 1, 1988

 15 Horace Pippin

Horace Pippin
6
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 22, 1888
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: West Chester, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: July 6, 1946

 16 Ben Enwonwu

Ben Enwonwu
2
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: July 14, 1917
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Onitsha, Anambra, Nigeria
Died: February 5, 1994

 17 Bill Traylor

Bill Traylor
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: April 1, 1854
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Benton, Alabama, United States
Died: October 23, 1949

 18 Martin Puryear

Martin Puryear
2
Famous As: Sculptor who works in media including wood, stone, tar, and wire
Birthdate: May 23, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

 19 Wangechi Mutu

Wangechi Mutu
3
Famous As: Visual artist, known primarily for her painting, sculpture, film, and performance work
Birthdate: June 22, 1972
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Nairobi, Kenya

 20 Jerry Pinkney

Jerry Pinkney
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Famous As: Illustrator
Birthdate: December 22, 1939
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

 21 David Drake

David Drake
2
Famous As: Potter and poet
Birthdate: 1800 AD
Birthplace: United States
Died: 1870 AD

 22 Richmond Barthé

Richmond Barthé
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Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: January 28, 1901
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Bay St. Louis, Mississippi, United States
Died: March 5, 1989

 23 Kwadwo Nkansah

Kwadwo Nkansah
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: April 15, 1987
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kumasi, Ghana

 24 Thornton Dial

Thornton Dial
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: September 28, 1928
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Emelle, Alabama
Died: January 25, 2016

 25 Jayne Cortez

Jayne Cortez
2
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 10, 1934
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Fort Huachuca, Arizona
Died: December 28, 2012

 26 Gwendolyn B. Bennett

Gwendolyn B. Bennett
2
Famous As: Former artist, writer, and journalist who contributed to Opportunity: A Journal of Negro Life, which chronicled cultural advancements during the Harlem Renaissance
Birthdate: July 8, 1902
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Giddings, Texas, United States
Died: May 30, 1981

 27 Palmer Hayden

Palmer Hayden
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 15, 1890
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Widewater, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: February 18, 1973

 28 Roy DeCarava

Roy DeCarava
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: December 9, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Harlem, New York, United States
Died: October 27, 2009

 29 Hale Woodruff

Hale Woodruff
2
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: August 26, 1900
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cairo, Illinois, United States
Died: September 6, 1980

Best known for his Amistad Mutiny murals, Hale Woodruff was raised singlehandedly by his working mother after his father’s death and thus took to drawing to spend time by himself. He later grew up to be a Black art icon and established the Atlanta Annuals to encourage African-American artists.

 30 Magdalene Odundo

Magdalene Odundo
1
Famous As: Potter
Birthdate: 1950 AD
Birthplace: Nairobi, Kenya

 31 Ray Styles

Ray Styles
2
Famous As: Pencil artist
Birthdate: January 31, 1988
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Ghana
Died: October 1, 2020

 32 Joseph Yoakum

Joseph Yoakum
1
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: February 22, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ash Grove, Missouri, United States
Died: December 25, 1972

 33 Gwendolyn Knight

Gwendolyn Knight
0
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: May 26, 1913
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bridgetown, Barbados
Died: February 18, 2005

 34 Abdias do Nascimento

Abdias do Nascimento
1
Famous As: Scholar
Birthdate: March 14, 1914
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Franca, Brazil
Died: May 23, 2011

Abdias do Nascimento was an African Brazilian artist, scholar, and politician. A Pan-African activist, Nascimento created the Black Experimental Theater to fight against racism in 1944. He continued his fight by creating the Black Arts Museum and the First Congress of Brazilian Blacks in 1950. He received international honors, including a nomination for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

 35 Malangatana Ngwenya

Malangatana Ngwenya
1
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: June 6, 1936
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Portuguese Mozambique
Died: January 5, 2011

 36 Piero del Pollaiolo

Piero del Pollaiolo
1
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: 1443 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: 1496 AD

 37 Romuald Hazoumè

Romuald Hazoumè
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: February 7, 1962
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Porto-Novo, Benin

 38 William Edmondson

William Edmondson
1
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: 1874 AD
Birthplace: Davidson County, Tennessee, United States
Died: February 7, 1951

 39 Grafton Tyler Brown

Grafton Tyler Brown
1
Famous As: Painter
Birthdate: February 22, 1841
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: March 2, 1918

 40 Ade A. Olufeko

Ade A. Olufeko
0
Famous As: Designer, technologist, and entrepreneur primarily active in Lagos
Birthdate: March 22, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States

 41 John Muafangejo

John Muafangejo
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: October 5, 1943
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Angola
Died: November 27, 1987

 42 Eldzier Cortor

Eldzier Cortor
1
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: January 10, 1916
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Richmond, Virginia, United States
Died: November 26, 2015

 43 Ouattara Watts

Ouattara Watts
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Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: 1957 AD
Birthplace: Ivory Coast

 44 Ollie Harrington

Ollie Harrington
1
Famous As: Cartoonist
Birthdate: February 14, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Valhalla, New York, United States
Died: November 2, 1995

 45 Jim Gary

Jim Gary
1
Famous As: Sculptor
Birthdate: February 17, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sebastian, Florida, United States
Died: January 14, 2006

 46 Aïda Muluneh

Aïda Muluneh
1
Famous As: Photographer
Birthdate: 1974 AD
Birthplace: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

 47 Tavares Strachan

Tavares Strachan
0
Famous As: Conceptual artist
Birthdate: December 16, 1979
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Nassau, Bahamas

 48 Paul Ahyi

Paul Ahyi
0
Famous As: Credited with designing of the flag of Togo
Birthdate: January 15, 1930
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Abomey, Benin
Died: January 4, 2010

 49 Younousse Sèye

Younousse Sèye
1
Famous As: Artist, Actress
Birthdate: 1940 AD
Birthplace: Saint Louis, Senegal

 50 Ramón Esono Ebalé

Ramón Esono Ebalé
0
Famous As: Illustrator and comics artist
Birthdate: November 22, 1977
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Micomeseng, Equatorial Guinea