Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery

by Sandra Neil Wallace and Bryan Collier

Ernie Barnes loved to draw as a child, and that love never went away, even when he... read more

Ernie Barnes loved to draw as a child, and that love never went away, even when he was given a full football scholarship to college and later drafted by the American Football League. Ernie brought his sketchbook to practice, stashed in his sock, and pulled it out to make notes and sketches. He began painting what he saw on the football field and eventually he transformed his art work into his career. He began by negotiating a job painting for the American Football League but his work and his reputation soon went far beyond football as the expressive movement of the human form he had perfected in sports was applied to paintings of ordinary people. (Many adult readers will recognize his work from the popular 1970s sitcom Good Times.) An extensive author’s note at the end includes several photos of Ernie Barnes’s artwork, showing the progression of his style over time in this fascinating portrait. (Ages 7–11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2019

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