Charles Henry Alston (November 28, 1907 – April 27, 1977) was an African American artist, muralist, and teacher. Alston graduated from DeWitt Clinton High School in New York City, then attended Columbia College and Teachers College at Columbia University where he obtained his Master of Fine Arts.
Alston began his art career while still a student, illustrating album covers for jazz musician Duke Ellington and book covers for poet Langston Hughes. He was influenced by Mexican muralists, Diego Rivera, in particular, who tied their murals into early twentieth century social movements. Alston painted murals throughout Harlem, including depression-era murals as part of the Works Progress Administration's Federal Art Project. The best known of his mural works is one of a series of murals created by Alston and other Harlem artists for the Harlem Hospital Center.
Read an interview with Charles Austin, free from the Smithsonian Institution's Archives of American Art.