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Tom John
b. 1931, Collinsville, Illinois

"I have always worked in the "abstract," borrowing whimsical shapes from the stagse of dance performances and ballets I've designed, and geometric shapes from architectural drawings for buildings I've designed. Painting gives me the freedom to incorporate both." —Tom H. John

Tom H. John is a polymath who applies his creativity to numerous fields, but is first and foremost a visual artist. After studying at the Art Institute of Chicago, John pursued an array of diverse projects, most notably in set design and production. Highlights from his career in this field include the African Pavilion for the 1964 New York World's Fair, the television set designs for Much Ado About Nothing and Death of a Salesman, and stage designs for the Academy Awards and the Tony Awards. Tom John designed all the sets for Barbra Streisand's 1960s television specials (My Name is Barbra, Color Me Barbra, The Belle of 14th Street, and A Happening in Central Park). He has also created designs for six Broadway productions, including Guys & Dolls, George M!, and The Wiz. John has received five Emmys and the Peabody Award.

​Throughout John’s career, the compulsion to produce fine art was always present. His artwork is inspired by Georges Braque, František Kupka, the Bauhaus Movement, and the surrealist motifs of Paul Klee and Julius Bissier. The influence of John’s experiences in architecture and set design remain apparent in his works. In the words of the artist himself, he “figuratively stretches the canvas between the proscenium of the Broadway stage, [creating] shapes that interplay with each other through the choice of color, design and detail.” John has had solo shows on the East and West Coast, and his paintings are held in a number of private collections. John lives and works in New York.