Artwork Information

  • Title:

    Bird Flies High, The; but Always Returns to Earth

  • Artist:

    White, Charles

  • Artist Bio:

    American, 1918–1979

  • Date:


  • Medium:

    Ink on paper board

  • Dimensions:

    42 3/8 x 51 1/4 inches

  • Credit Line:

    Wichita Art Museum, Museum purchase, Friends of the Wichita Art Museum and the National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Plan

  • Object Number:


  • Display:

    Not Currently on Display

About the Artwork

White is a figurative painter who employs the academic skills of the Renaissance tradition. He draws from life, seeking a balance between the natural and the ideal. As this work demonstrates, White conveys drama by means of action poses and the isolation of the figure against an abstract background. White’s imagery explores themes of his African and American heritage.

Charles White received his first set of paints on his 7th birthday and at about the same time he began an independent study of art in the Chicago public library. In 1937 he won a scholarship to study at the Chicago Art Institute. During the 1940s White executed a number of public murals including The Contribution of the Negro to American Democracy now in the Hampton Institute in Virginia. He taught at the Workshop School of Art in New York City in 1950 and later taught at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles, California, where he moved in 1956.