Felrath Hines (1913–1993), the first African American man to become a professional conservator for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery, was born and raised in the segregated Midwest. Leaving their home in the South, Hines's parents migrated to Indianapolis with hopes for a better life. While growing up, Hines was encouraged by his seamstress mother to pursue his early passion for art by taking Saturday classes at Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis. He moved to Chicago in 1937, where he attended the Art Institute of Chicago in pursuit of his dreams.
The Life and Art of Felrath Hines: From Dark to Light chronicles the life of this exceptional artist who overcame numerous obstacles throughout his career and refused to be pigeonholed because of his race. Author Rachel Berenson Perry tracks Hines's determination and success as a contemporary artist on his own terms. She explores Hines's life in New York City in the 1950s and 60s, where he created a close friendship with jazz musician Billy Strayhorn and participated in the African American Spiral Group of New York and the equal rights movement. Hines's relationship with Georgia O'Keeffe, as her private paintings restorer, and a lifetime of creating increasingly esteemed Modernist artwork, all tell the story of one man's remarkable journey in 20th-century America.
Featuring exquisite color photographs, The Life and Art of Felrath Hines explores the artist's life, work, and significance as an artist and as an art conservator.