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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, and glass-making at Urban Glass in Brooklyn. 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.


Carolyn is also a writer, and she has combined her love of art with her passion for writing in her two published books on art. The third book in the series is in progress. In 2019, she indulged a secret talent for storytelling in her novel, just released this year. Two of her books for children are available through her studio, 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 interested parties to contact her.