Skip to Content

Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine

February 1, 2022 | Michael Rooks

On view June 17–September 11

A group of nudes ranging in color from bright red, yellow, and blue, lounge and frolic in a clearing with multi-colored fields and hills behind them.

Bob Thompson (American, 1937–1966), Homage to Nina Simone, 1965, oil on canvas, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the John R. Van Derlip Fund. © Estate of Bob Thompson, courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York. Photo: Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

Taking its title from one of his paintings, Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine traces the transatlantic career of African American artist Bob Thompson (1937–1966) as he wrestled with the exclusionary Western canon. The Whitney Museum of American Art’s 1998 Thompson retrospective raised awareness of the artist, and his presence in recent exhibitions such as Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power attests to the continued relevance of his work. Featuring paintings and works on paper from Thompson’s brief but prolific career, the exhibition offers the fullest consideration of the artist to date. Born in Kentucky in 1937, Thompson studied art at the University of Louisville and then continued his training in Provincetown, Massachusetts. There he intensified his analysis of historical European painting, using it as the scaffolding for painterly reinterpretations executed in the chromatic style of Fauvism. Thompson’s rise coincided with the emergence of the American civil rights movement, yet he spent his final years as an expatriate in Europe. Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine is a timely overview examining how legacies of dispossession, exile, and diaspora shape aesthetic innovation.

Exhibition catalogue available for purchase at the Museum Shop and at Members receive 10% off Shop purchases.

A group of multi-colored figures, many playing musical instruments, gather in a group of trees at the edge of a pasture.

Bob Thompson (American, 1937–1966), Garden of Music, 1960, oil on canvas, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut; The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund. © Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York. Photo: Allen Phillips/Wadsworth Atheneum.


Member Preview Day
Thursday, June 16, 12 noon–5 p.m.
Members see it first and free. Register today to see this exhibition before it opens to the public!

Preregistration is required. Visit for more information and to reserve free
timed tickets.

Bob Thompson: This House Is Mine is organized by the Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine, and is generously supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, halley k harrisburg and Michael Rosenfeld, the Alex Katz Foundation, Richard and Mary L. Gray Foundation, the Robert Lehman Foundation, and the Terra Foundation for American Art.

Delta Air Lines

ACT Foundation, Inc.
Sarah and Jim Kennedy
Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot
Dr. Joan H. Weens Estate
wish Foundation

Robin and Hilton Howell

The Antinori Foundation
Corporate Environments
The Arthur R. and Ruth D. Lautz Charitable Foundation
Elizabeth and Chris Willett

Farideh and Al Azadi
Sandra and Dan Baldwin
Lucinda W. Bunnen
Marcia and John Donnell
Mrs. Peggy Foreman
Helen C. Griffith
Mrs. Fay S. Howell/The Howell Fund
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones
Joel Knox and Joan Marmo
Dr. Joe B. Massey
Margot and Danny McCaul
The Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust
Wade Rakes and Nicholas Miller
The Fred and Rita Richman Fund
In Memory of Elizabeth B. Stephens
USI Insurance Services
Mrs. Harriet H. Warren

Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, and the RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund