ca. 1978 - 1986
Born: Milton, Ohio 1908
Died: Gainesville, Florida 1986
oil on board 24 × 24 in. (61.0 × 61.0 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Josh Feldstein
Smithsonian American Art Museum
1st Floor, West Wing
Eddy Mumma was named in honor of Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christian Science, whom his parents admired. He began painting in 1969 following his wife’s premature death and at a time when his own physical health was deteriorating. His increasing interest in art may have marked a flagging faith. Around 1980, his style and output exploded. Regal, flamboyant, and colorful characters crowd within their rectangular frames, most often featuring large eyes and upraised hands. Mumma’s paintings seem to redirect a character that was once larger-than-life; as Mumma’s physical presence faded, his work came increasingly alive.
Figure group - family - siblings