Milton Derr

Milton Derr, also known as Milton Johnson, is a painter, illustrator and educator. Born in 1932 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Derr studied at the Layton School of Art, Milwaukee, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Independent Group of Painters and Sculptors, Tokyo, Japan. He has been featured in many exhibitions, including several sponsored by Northeastern University's African-American Master Artists in Residency Program, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Museum of the National Center of Afro-American Artists, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and the Studio Museum of Harlem. During the Korean War, he served in the United States Air Force. In 1964, Derr joined the faculty at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. He has also taught at Tufts University. Derr describes himself as a figurative painter whose style falls somewhere between expressionism and impressionism. He has been included among the blackstream artists of the 1960s and 1970s because although some of his works portray black subjects, his approach has been to universalize the black experience by focusing on themes that transcend race and employing generally accepted modern art techniques in the European tradition. Derr resides in Boston, Massachusetts.

This interview is from the Ronald W. Bailey Oral History Collection

Media

Video

An Interview with Milton Derr [video recording]

Transcript

An Interview with Milton Derr [transcript]