The chromatic impact of Light Blue Nursery is dramatic. Small blocks of irregularly configured primary colors dance across a bright white surface in horizontal rows that echo the ordered energy of a formal garden. Secondary and tertiary hues—pinks, purples, and greens—serve as borders and accents, reflecting Thomas’s conviction that she could play with perception and optical interaction in images drawn from her visual experience of the natural world. Although seemingly constructed of spontaneous strokes of the brush, the forms, like the colors, are thoughtfully calibrated.


  • Title: Light Blue Nursery
  • Creator: Alma Thomas
  • Date Created: 1968
  • Physical Dimensions: 49 x 47 7/8 in. (124.4 x 121.5 cm)
  • Credit Line: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist
  • Artist: Born Columbus, GA 1891 – Died Washington, D.C. 1978
  • Medium: acrylic on canvas

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