Creative Baby Names: Art World starbabies

Creative Baby Names: Art World starbabies

Sure, we know that rockers and rappers are infamous for being the most inventive—which is to say extreme—band of baby namers.  But what about artists at the other end of the spectrum—the Fine Art painters and sculptors. Are they equally creative when naming their kids?

Getting the answer to this question proved to be a little more difficult than I’d thought, since these art world denizens and their offspring don’t appear much in the tabs, and most of their biographies downplay their domestic lives.  But my digging did produce some evidence that their creativity did extend to a number of artists’ children’s name choices.

Here are some truly creative baby names chosen by both superstars of the art world and others who might be less well known.  Most are modern/contemporary painters and sculptors, but with a few irresistible older masters’ names thrown in.


AmaryllisAugustus John

Beatrice (Bebe)Tony Smith

CandidaDavid Smith

Chiara (who became the artist Kiki)– Tony Smith

CordyRobert Ryman

DominieR. B. Kitaj

GwynneLarry Rivers


IndiaMaya Lin

IsabettaAlice Neel

Jaroslava—Alphonse Mucha

Kizette–Tamara de Lempicka

LolaJulian Schnabel

Lorenza (called Lola)—Salvador Scarpitta

Lyndon (called Lyn)Kenneth Noland

MaraAl Held

MarchMilton Avery

Maro—Archile Gorky

MayaPable Picasso

MeliaBrice Marden

MirabelleBrice Marden

MusaPhilip Guston

OnaWill Barnet

PalomaPablo Picasso (shown as painted by her father)

Poppet—Augustus John

Rainier Yingling—Donald Judd

SantillanaAlice Neel

SaskiaRed Grooms

SetonTony Smith

SonnyEd Ruscha

StellaJulian Schnabel

TwinkaWayne Thibault

Vida RoseCraig Kauffman

WilhelminaCraig Kauffman


Angus OrionJohn Chamberlain

Anton Lemuel (called Lem)–R. B. Kitaj

BeauDan Flavin

Cassius AtticusDamien Hirst

Cedd—Ed Moses

Connor OjalaDamien Hirst

CyJulian Schnabel

Cyrus JoeDamien Hirst

Flavin Starbuck—Donald Judd (after his friend and fellow artist Dan Flavin)

HartleyAlice Neel

JarvisNorman Rockwell

LudwigJeff Koons

MitchellRoy Lichtenstein

NeelAlice Neel

OlmoJulian Schnabel


Ulrich (called Jimmy) –Max Ernst

VitoJulian Schnabel

About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.