As an urban folk art, painted screens flourished in Baltimore. In her new book, Elaine Eff looks at this iconic Baltimore tradition through the words and images of dozens of self-taught artists. Many screen artists trace their creations to the capable and unlikely brush of one Bohemian immigrant, William Oktavec. In 1913, this corner grocer began a family dynasty and inspired generations of artists who continue his craft to this day.The Painted Screens of Baltimore is illustrated with 300 black and white and colored photographs.
Elaine Eff is a curator and filmmaker and the authority on painted screens. She has chronicled and conserved living culture as the folklorist for the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland.