Artist who painted ordinary people into royalty dies at 42
ATLANTA (AP) — Tamara Natalie Madden, an artist and professor of art and visual culture at Spelman College in Atlanta, has died. She was 42.
The Tom M. Wages Funeral Home outside Atlanta confirmed her death, saying she died as a result of ovarian cancer at her home in Snellville, Georgia, on Nov. 4.
Madden was known for her artwork focusing on the social, spiritual and cultural identity of people of African ancestry — and her paintings that transformed ordinary people into royalty, the funeral home said in a statement Friday. She has said the golden headpieces worn by subjects of her paintings were meant to represent mystical crowns, halos, armor and weaponry for the spiritual warriors.
Many of her pieces are in the collections of institutions such as Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee; Alverno College in Milwaukee; and The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit, among others.
She is survived by her daughter, Nidalas Simone Madden, and her parents.
Services are being planned for Nov. 18 at the Tom M. Wages Funeral Home in Snellville.