Betsy Graves Reyneau
Artist Betsy Graves Reyneau and AACP president Thomas L. Griffith standing besides portrait of Dr. George Washington Carver, 1948
|Education||School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston|
|Known for||Portrait painting|
Betsy Graves Reyneau (1888–1964) was an American painter, best known for a series of portraits of prominent African Americans once owned by the Harmon Foundation. Mary McLeod Bethune, George Washington Carver, Joe Louis, and Thurgood Marshall were among her sitters.
Reyneau was raised in Detroit, and although discouraged by her father from becoming an artist on the grounds that it was inappropriate for a woman, she broke ties with the family to pursue that career, and as a young woman attended the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She later lived in France for a time before returning to the United States and becoming active in civil rights causes. She was later selected by the Circuit Court of Detroit, unbeknownst to her family, to paint a portrait of her grandfather, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Benjamin F. Graves. Reyneau was also a suffragette; she became, in 1917, one of the first women to be arrested and imprisoned for protesting Woodrow Wilson's stance on women's voting rights.
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