Talented Tuesday: Christine Gilliard Culley

Christine G. Culley
Photo by DeLaigle, (Harlem)
I am highlighting Christine G. Culley, who is the daughter of the trumpet player, Wendell Phillip Culley.  Christine was born January 3, 1930 in Manhattan, New York and died September 1, 2009.  
I went to New York June 8, 2010, and had not realized she died.  She had become a recluse, and frankly had no contact with any surviving family members of her generation or after.  I thought I would go to Harlem and get the stories about her father, who happened to play for Count Basie in the 50’s, Cab Calloway, Lionel Hampton, and appeared in over 200 recordings of some of the great artists and musicians.
Christine was born, grew up, took care of her mother Violet, and grew old in the same apartment her parents got married in.  She remained in that home for 79 years.  My trip to her apartment in Harlem was not necessarily successful as she had passed but I was able to get in touch with the owner, who in turn connected me with Christine’s friend, that handled her final affairs.  
The connection to Christine’s friend (Karen) gave me some answers as to who Christine was.  Christine was my mother’s first cousin, and they grew up together, and were probably pretty close until my mother and grandmother moved to Los Angeles, CA.  
Karen was most helpful in giving me what she had regarding Christine.  All of Christine’s things were donated to thrift stores, and organizations that Christine was interested in.  What Karen did have that was somewhat of a consolation, was photo’s of paintings that Christine did.  Christine was a Teacher at New York University (NYU) for many years and had many of her art pieces.  I have been on a hunt for them, and was able to recover four paintings, that I hope one day, will find their place in the homes of our relatives.
I am only posting a few of her paintings below:
Abstract Painting by Christine G. Culley
(Recovered & in my home) 1970
Painting sold in an Auction
by Christine G. Culley

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© 2010-2011

6 thoughts on “Talented Tuesday: Christine Gilliard Culley

  1. What a fascinating person! It's interesting the various twists and turns that genealogical research can take–and the fascinating people who are sometimes discovered.

  2. @Debra, it is very possible that she was inspired by Picasso. I will have to discuss this with her friend Karen, and see if she has any insight as to who influenced her artwork.
    @Sheryl, Yes Yes, I agree.

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