Portrait of Ray Johnson
Elaine Schmitt (1925 - 2004) was one of the four Schmitt children who attended Black Mountain -- Betty Schmitt Jennerjahn, Rupert Schmitt and Conrad Schmitt being the others. Their grandfather founded Conrad Schmitt Studios in Milwaukee. The studios primarily did ecclesiastical stained glass of a very high quality. Urbain was a student at Black Mountain College 1945-46. She studied with Josef Albers, Jean Varda and Ossip Zadkine at BMC, although Albers was by far the greatest influence. When she left Black Mountain, Elaine moved to New York and married John Urbain, also a Black Mountain student. They had a son and a daughter. They divorced after the children were grown. Elaine's work is a purely personal expression. The most important are her portraits. She was very involved in the antiwar movement during the Vietnam War and did drawings of many of the leaders in the movement. She has done a series of biographical protraits on which she has written biographies of the individuals. She lived for a number of years in Majorca and has drawn portraits of the people there.