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A work made of charcoal, pastel, ink, graphite, pen and inks and watercolor on ivory wove paper.
© The Charles White Archives Inc.

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  • A work made of charcoal, pastel, ink, graphite, pen and inks and watercolor on ivory wove paper.




Charles White
American, 1918-1979

About this artwork

The earliest works in this sketchbook date from White’s days at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he enrolled in 1937. It features approximately 50 drawings in watercolor, pen and ink, graphite, various charcoals, combinations of prepared grounds with colored dry media, and pen and ink or dry brush over ink or watercolor wash. He frequently added historical notes, technical descriptions, and generic titles (e.g., “sketch for block print,” “study for composition”) to his sketchbook drawings, giving insight into his interests and processes. Several pages feature studies of African sculptures, with notations on their cultural origins. White also made a quick, penetrating pencil portrait of poet Langston Hughes, recorded during a lecture on April 1, 1938, at the Chicago Public Library.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Charles White




United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Charcoal, pastel, ink, graphite, pen and inks and watercolor on ivory wove paper


Overall: 26 × 20.5 cm (10 1/4 × 8 1/8 in.)

Credit Line

Purchase, Ada Turnbull Hertle Fund, Director’s Fund, Olivia Shaler Swan Memorial Endowment Fund, Hugh Leander and Mary Trumbull Adams Memorial Endowment Fund; and funds provided by Mary P. Hines, Mr. and Mrs. Robert S. Hartman, Ruth Hartman through the Regenstein Foundation, Marshall Field, Denise and Gary Gardner, John Nichols, Sandra and Deven Rand, Amina J. Dickerson, Jean Rudd and Lionel E. Bolin, Esther Sparks Sprague, Lynn Evans in memory of Beatrice Barnett Evans and John W. Evans, Jr., James T. Parker, Patricia Pratt in memory of Marion White Pratt Lindsay, Edwin T. White, Jr., Daniel Schulman, Frederick G. and Joele Jones Michaud

Reference Number



© The Charles White Archives Inc.

Extended information about this artwork

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