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Carlos Lopez (1908 - 1953)

Updated: Aug 15, 2023

14. Portrait of Ed Rowan, c. 1943

Ink on paper, 13 ½ x 10 ½ inches (unframed sheet), 16 ½ x 12 ½ inches (framed), inscribed “with best wishes to my friend Edward B. Rowan Carlos Lopez Royal Oak, Mich. 1943”


About the Artist

Carlos Lopez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1908 and spent his childhood in Spain before immigrating to the United States at the age of 11. He studied at the Detroit Art Academy and acted as its director in the mid-1930s. Lopez also attended the school at the Art Institute of Chicago. Lopez exhibited extensively in the upper mid-west at the Detroit Art Institute and the Detroit Scarab Club, where he won a gold medal in 1938. Nationally, Lopez exhibited at both the Golden Gate International Exhibition and the New York World’s Fair in 1939. During the WPA Era, he received five commissions to create murals in Illinois, Michigan, and Washington, D.C. Lopez’s murals stand out for their detailed realism and a high degree of refinement. During this period, Lopez’s work often depicted the American Scene and historical American imagery. From 1944 until his early death in 1953, Lopez was an art instructor at the University of Michigan. Though his career was short, Lopez had a significant influence as one of the few LatinX artists to work for the New Deal public works projects and serve as a professor at a significant institution. Lopez is listed in Who Was Who in American Art and all other standard references.


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