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FRANCES AT 103, oil on canvas, 40″ x 30”, 2012

Carolyn Schlam is an award winning American painter, sculptor and glass artist born and raised in New York City. She studied painting with Norman Raeben, youngest son of the Yiddish writer Sholem Alecheim, in Carnegie Hall Studios, glass-making at Urban Glass in Brooklyn and wood sculpture at University of New Mexico/Taos. She currently lives and works in Southern California.


Carolyn Schlam’s portraiture is infused with emotional content, expressing the vulnerability and longing of her mostly female subjects. She explores portraiture in its many aspects– traditional, in which appearance and character are foremost; expressionistic, in which the inner life is heightened; and stylized, in which the image becomes iconic. She is known for her use of exuberant color, elegant drawing and modern design.
In recent years, she has added embellishments to her painting– decorative papers, found objects and fabrics that bring dimension to this work– they fall into the category of collage and assemblage.


Carolyn is also a writer, and she has combined her love of art with her passion for writing in her published books on art, a novel and many periodicals. Visit the Books Page on this website for further information, excerpts and links to purchase.


In 2013, Carolyn was named one of the 48 finalists in the Smithsonian Museum Portrait Competition. Her portrait, “Frances at 103” was exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery for one year and was subsequently acquired by the Museum. It is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. In 2018, her “Mother and Child” joined the prestigious Cedars Sinai Art Collection and last year she gifted the City of Los Angeles with a feminist collage.


Carolyn has a strong interest in donating works to organizations and collections, especially those with a feminist orientation, and encourages parties interested in acquiring art work to get in touch. She loves to hear from art enthusiasts, collectors, and readers and invites them to reach out through her contact page.