Category: artist names

For Black History Month this year we celebrate the women fine artists whose activism is reflected in their bold paintings, sculpture, photography and crafts, several of which expose African-American stereotypes and other forms of racism. (By Linda Rosenkrantz)

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posted by: Nook of Names View all posts by this author

By K. M Sheard, Nook of Names

I’ve been musing for a while now on the rich mine of names that are the surnames of artists.

Many of them have a great ring in themselves, as well as carrying strong artistic connotations.

With the most famous, it is as though their names “mean” their paintings.

Say Monet, for instance, and lovely, soft, impressionistc images float into the mind.

Here, then, is my pick of the artists:

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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

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We looked at trailblazing women in Part One of this blog yesterday—bold and courageous achievers who would prove worthy namesakes for a daughter.  Now we turn to those with major accomplishments in the arts—a varied mix of writers, artists, and musicians of the far and fairly recent  past—many of whom seem to have appropriately creative names—whether they were born with them or not.

Again, remember that the name’s the thing here—so sorry, Mary Cassatt and Elizabeth Barrett Browning–not this time.


AGATHA Christie


APHRA Behn (also seen on the trailblazer list)

AYN Rand

CARSON (born Lula) McCullers


COLETTE (born SidonieGabrielle Collette)

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