William Britt is an accomplished and internationally recognized self-taught still-life and landscape painter with a developmental disability who is represented by Pure Vision Arts. Born in 1935, he was sent to the infamous Willowbrook State School in Staten Island New York as a child where he remained for 34 years. A frustrated young boy, Britt was given paints by his doctor and encouraged to express himself.
After the closure of Willowbrook, Britt moved into a group home in Westchester, New York where he continued to further his artistic technique. He now lives in his own home with an attached art studio and woodworking shop where he crafts his frames as well as furniture in West Haverstraw, New York, an area known for its natural beauty.
Britt’s masterful, intricately detailed paintings in the folk art tradition have garnered him several awards, including a Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation Award in 1986 for Outstanding Artistic Achievement. At a presentation at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, Maya Angelou read her poem, “William Britt” to honor William’s contribution and experiences.
Britt’s work is included in an ever-growing number of collections including those of Nancy Reagan, Mario Cuomo, George Pataki, Prince Charles and the Emperor of Japan.