Alma Thomas started her painting career at the age of 68, after retiring from teaching art to junior high school students in Washington, DC. At the age of 80, Thomas’s exuberantly colored abstractions were exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, where she was the first black female artist to be given a solo show. Filled with vibrant illustrations, this stunning volume traces Thomas’s development as an artist: her transition from figuration to abstraction, her fascination with the natural world and space exploration, and the mesmerizing mosaic-like paintings she completed before her death. New writings focus on different themes in Thomas’s work, and the book includes specially commissioned responses by leading artists Leslie Hewitt, Jennie C. Jones, Leslie Wayne, and Saya Woolfalk. Together these bring Thomas’s work to a new generation of readers. As the work of many African-American abstractionists is only recently coming into the spotlight, this important book on Alma Thomas profiles a truly pioneering figure.