Hilton Brown

American, b. 1938

Ambivalence Series 2 - No. 1, 1964, Acrylic on canvas, 50 x 60 inches

Homage to the Immaculates, 1965, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 60 inches


Hilton Brown has made a name for himself in almost all realms of the art world-as painter, writer, critic, professor, curator, director, advisor, consultant etc. He has participated in 24 solo exhibitions, and over 140 invitational juried and group shows, both in the US and internationally.

Brown was born in Momence Illinois, where his mother was born and raised as well. He studied theatrical design at the Goodman Theatre and School of Drama at the Art Institute of Chicago for two years, before changing course and focusing on fine art. He remained at the Art Institute, completing his professional certificate in painting, his BFA in painting and printmaking and his MFA in painting and art history between 1962 and 1964. In the summers, he continued his work and studies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, ME.

During the early 1960s Brown was experimenting with several styles of abstraction including abstract impressionism, optical art, hard edge and color field painting. He was also creating prints at this time and experimenting with hand mixed pigments and techniques. Looking at his body of work you can see growth and him always searching for more. From immaculately printed grids to bold canvas paintings, Hilton Brown is very much an artist’s artist.

Brown left a legacy of teaching as well, and taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the School of Fine Arts at Washington University, in St. Louis, Goucher College in Baltimore, and at the University of Delaware, where he was an Associate Professor of Art History, the associate director of the Art Conservation Program, the Ralph and Bena Mayer Professor of Artists’ techniques, and the Harriet T. Baily Professor of Art, Art Conservation, Art History, Museum Studies and Women’s studies.

Hilton Brown has lectured and done workshops all over the country, including such institutions as the University of Minnesota, University of Maryland, Johns Hopkins University, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Walters Art Gallery, the Delaware Art Museum, the Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, the High Museum, Atlanta, Winterthur Museum, the Fogg Museum of Harvard University, etc. Starting in 1990, he began working as a consultant to the Education Department at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. He is in the National Gallery permanent collection as well as the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Art Institute of Chicago, the St. Louis Museum of Art, the University of Maryland College Park, Goucher College, Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., Macomb County College in Detroit, Mich., and other public, corporate and private institutions.

Hilton Brown still lives and paints in Wilmington, Delaware.