William Christenberry, American artist, Died at 80


William Andrew Christenberry Jr. was born on November 5, 1936, and died on November 28, 2016.

He was a photographer, painter, and sculptor.

William worked with personal and somewhat mythical themes growing out of his childhood experiences in Hale County, Alabama.

He received his bachelor’s (1958) and master’s (1959) degrees in fine arts from the University of Alabama, studying under abstract expressionist Melville Price.

William Christenberry artistic career began with the painting of large abstract-expressionist canvasses, but gradually he began to be drawn to material that spoke about the place of his childhood.

William was raised in Tuscaloosa, Christenberry but spent his summers with extended family in rural Hale County.

Following his graduation from the University of Alabama and beginning a promising, if not immediately rewarding, artistic career in New York City, he came across the 1941 book, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, in which James Agee describes in prose, and Walker Evans in photographs, the experience of living among the dirt-poor farming families of Hale County during the Great Depression.

A few of Evans’s photographs made a deep impression on Christenberry.

since 1968, Christenberry taught at the Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, D.C..

He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011.

He died in Washington, D.C.

William Christenberry passed away at 80 years old.