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clyfford still | museum
A young girl holds a clipboard and writes something on it while looking up and a large brown abstract painting is behind her
A girl holds a clipboard and writes on paper while looking up and a large brown and black abstract painting is behind her
inStill student


Enjoy our recorded virtual and bonus content programs anytime, on our YouTube Channel. Explore a variety of workshops, talks, writing and art making activities, and more.

Learn more about Clyfford Still:

Clyfford Still (1904–1980) was an artist who invented a new way to paint—something no one had ever seen before—and who still inspires artists today. He grew up on farms and as an adult, he taught art all over the United States, including one summer in Boulder, CO! He lived in San Francisco and New York City in the 1940s and ‘50s (bustling hubs for artists at that time) and then moved to the countryside in Maryland in 1961 to make art for the rest of his life. Clyfford Still thought the best way to experience his art was by seeing it all together in its own special place. This Museum is a home for almost everything Clyfford Still ever made, dedicated to his art and life.

Downloadable Guides

Look for some of the things that make the abstract paintings special:

  • Size – Have you ever made a painting that was taller than you? Clyfford Still painted on huge canvases to invite us to get lost in his paintings.
  • Imagery – Where is everyone? Clyfford Still stopped painting images of everyday things like people or places and instead mixed shapes, colors, and lines to express an idea or a feeling.
  • Full Coverage – Where do your eyes go first? Clyfford Still often covered the entire surface of his paintings and wanted our eyes to move “all over” the canvas rather than focus on one spot.
  • Technique – Clyfford Still painted with a trowel (a small metal tool usually used by construction workers!), instead of a brush. He also made his own paints. By coming up with his own technique he shows us that there is not just one way to paint!