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Sideshow at AVAM: The Museum Store. Come shopping. Leave smiling!

Detail: Self-Portrait, Christine McCormick, Photo by Dan Meyers

Christine McCormick

(c.1938–c.1994)

Born into a prominent Baltimore family, Christine was diagnosed both mildly mentally disabled and mentally ill, and committed to Springfield Hospital while still a young teen. In her early 20's, she spontaneously developed her own technique of pointillism–stripping her paintbrush down to 2-3 hairs. Tragically, much of her earliest and perhaps finest work was discarded. Much of what remains has deteriorated due to the original acidity of the media she used: paper plates, which she salvaged from Springfield Hospital, and old cigar boxes. Her favorite subjects were exotic lands, flowers, animals, and pretty women. Towards the end of her life, Christine was released to supervised living in the town of Springfield. Declining physical health caused her to live in a nursing home, where she continued to make her art while attached to breathing apparatus.