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Jean Charlot

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Jean Charlot

French, (1898–1979)
Louis Henri Jean Charlot was a French-born American painter and illustrator, active mainly in Mexico and the United States. From an early age Charlot was fascinated with Mexican manuscripts and pre-Columbian artefacts. As a teenager he began learning the Aztec language, Nahuatl. He studied art in Paris before serving in the French Army during World War I. Charlot is generally recognized as having brought international attention to José Guadalupe Posada, a Mexican printer who had produced more than 15,000 prints and lithographs, devoted mostly to the popular readers of newspapers in pre-revolutionary Mexico, in which he would present political satires using cartoon-like skeletons. In the U.S., Charlot executed commissions for the Work Projects Administration's Federal Arts Project, including the creation of murals for Straubenmuller Textile High School in Manhattan during 1934–1935, and, in 1942, an oil on canvas mural for the post office in McDonough, Georgia titled Cotton Gin. In 1944, Josef Albers invited Charlot to teach at the first Summer Institute of Black Mountain College. During his time there, Charlot completed two frescos, titled Inspiration and Knowledge (sometimes also called Study), on the pylons beneath the college's Studies Building. These frescos are likely the only intact artwork to remain on the historic site of Black Mountain College's Lake Eden campus.

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