An Astronomer Helped This Artist Make His Painting a Star

You can now see the works of Thomas Wilfred on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Thomas Wilfred
Thomas Wilfred. (Thomas Wilfred Papers, Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University Library, New Haven, CT)

Eugene Epstein, a young astronomy graduate student, came across the work was immediately taken by the work of Thomas Wilfred in 1960 but wasn’t able to buy his own piece of work until 1964, just before Wilfred’s death. Wilfred painted with pure light, which believed would one day be recognized as the “eighth fine art.” From 1932 to 1968, Wilfred created stand-alone lumia compositions, which rotate in varying time loops. You can now see Wilfred’s work and machinations at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

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