George Washington Carver

(1861 – 1943)

Portrait of George Washington Carver by Jack Kamen

Jack Kamen Artwork

George Washington Carver was an American agricultural chemist, agronomist, and inventor. He developed hundreds of products using peanuts, but contrary to popular belief, did not invent peanut butter! Carver was a proponent of crop rotation methods, which were also used by Native Americans.
This process helped salvage the nutrient depleted soil of Southern farms, saving the Southern economy.

Overcoming Adversity

Carver was born into slavery in 1861 and struggled to obtain an education because of the political climate in the South at that time. Despite these difficulties, Carver persisted. He graduated from and taught at Iowa Agricultural College, now Tuskegee College, as their first African American student, graduate and faculty member.

Explore Additional Portraits in the Collection

Nicola Tesla

Barbara McClintock
Edwin Herbert Land

These portraits were commissioned by Dean Kamen for the SEE Science Center.  The artist is Jack Kamen (1920-2008), an American graphic artist and Dean’s father. The series was created to inspire children through the stories of scientists and engineers whose work changed the world.  While many of the pieces represent men, the duo worked hard to identify female scientists.  Had Jack not passed, their goal was to continue to increase representation within the collection.  The original artwork is on display at the SEE Science Center in the Jack Kamen Portrait Gallery.