Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Biography: Alvin Hollingsworth

Don Quixote Series, # 5, 1979/1980
Lithograph, limited edition of 375
35 x 23 in.

Alvin Hollingsworth (American, 1928-2000) was a member of the prominent Spiral group. Spiral was formed in 1963 in the New York studio of Romare Bearden. Spiral members aimed to address civil and human rights concerns and show support for the Civil Rights Movement. They did not, however, want to adhere to strict aesthetic criteria or compromise their artistic individuality. Spiral also included Norman Lewis, Hale Woodruff, Charles Alston, Emma Amos, Richard Mayhew, Reginald Gammons and others.

In the late 1960s, early 1970s, Hollingsworth created a series of murals for the Don Quixote apartment building in the Bronx, NYC, and a series of six lithographs by the same theme and title. The lithograph offered here is part of that series.

Hollingsworth had also worked as comic-strip illustrator. He was born in New York City, where he received a fine arts degree from the City College of New York. Hollingsworth taught at Hostos Community College of the City University of New York.

Hollingsworth art and career are discussed in, among others, Romare Bearden & Harry Henderson, A History of African-American Art (1993); Elsa Honig Fine, The Afro-American Artist (1973), Selma Lewis, African American Art and Artists (1990) and Cedric Dover, American Negro Art (1960).


  1. Hollingsworth was featured (at the end of the piece) in a segment of PBS "History Detectives" which first aired on July 12, 2011, telling about a 3-issue series of Black Romance Comics published in the 1950s. The two questions the history detective was searching for were (1) who wrote the storyline and (2) who did the artwork. The answers were (1) Roy Ault, an editor at Fawcett Publishing, and (2) Alvin Hollingsworth, a high school student at the time, who worked at Fawcett.

  2. I believe that Hollingsworth was also a teacher at the High School of Art and Design in New York City.