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Architects & Artists

These architects and artists from Kentucky made the world a more beautiful place

It’s hard to top Kentucky’s natural beauty, but some of the man-made artwork, structures and other projects from Kentucky architects and artists make a good case. Kentucky’s impressive roster of successful male and female artists had major impacts in the world of civic arts, urban architecture and more. Learn more about the most famous architects and artists from Kentucky and visit the Bluegrass State to see – and even tour – some of their fantastic and award-winning architectural designs and indoor and outdoor art work located around the state. If you’re into art and architecture, add these great minds to the list of artists you should know about. Read about other famous KY natives on our Famous Kentuckians page.

John James Audubon* (April 26, 1785-1851) - Ornithologist, artist. Began his work on "Birds of America" in Kentucky. Born in Les Cayes, Haiti, died in Manhattan, New York.

Frank Duveneck (October 9, 1848-1919) - Painter, sculptor, educator. Some of Duveneck’s works may be viewed at the Richmond, Kentucky Art Museum. Born in Covington, and was buried there.

Fontaine Fox Jr. (June 4, 1884-1964) – Famous cartoonist and illustrator. Originated the nationally syndicated cartoon "The Toonerville Trolley." Born near Louisville, died in Greenwich, Connecticut.

Edward Norton Hamilton, Jr. (February 14, 1947-) – Sculptor, best known for his famous work “The Spirit of Freedom,” in Washington, D.C. and “Abraham Lincoln” in Louisville. Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, raised in Louisville.

Matthew Harris Jouette (April 22, 1788-1827) - Professional portrait artist who painted such notables as Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette during his career. Born in Lexington, buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.

Paul Sawyier* (March 22, 1865-1917) - Landscape artist known for scenes of Frankfort and the Kentucky River. Born in Madison County, Ohio, buried in the Frankfort Cemetery.

Gideon Shryock (November 15, 1802-1880) – A prominent Kentucky architect and designer, introduced Greek Revival style to the West. Designed buildings such as the Old Kentucky State Capitol, state houses, courthouses, Transylvania University and other colleges in this period style. Born in Lexington, buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.

Moneta J. Sleet, Jr. (February 14, 1926-1996) - Photographer during the days of the American Civil Rights Movement and the first black American to win Pulitzer Prize in photography, one of the field’s most prestigious awards. Earned a master’s degree in journalism from NYU. (1969). Born in Owensboro, died in New Orleans.

Helen M. Turner (November 13, 1858-1958) - Impressionistic landscape artist, portraitist. Born in Louisville, died in New Orleans.

Enid Yandell (October 6, 1870-1934) - First female member of the National Sculpture Society. Studied at Hampton College in Louisville and the Cincinnati Art Academy. Sculpture collection is at the Speed Art Museum in Louisville. Died in Boston, Massachusetts, buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, the city of her birth.

* Denotes not born in Kentucky