Transcending Boundaries: The Art of Anthony Quinn

Step inside the world of the famed actor and accomplished artist

The National Hellenic Museum is celebrating the art of the celebrated actor Anthony Quinn, who transcended boundaries and limitations not only through his acting but also through his work as a painter and a sculptor, leaving a remarkable legacy of art.


The exhibit, which opens June 19, features more than 80 of his paintings and sculptures, and offers a glimpse inside his world with a replica of the studio where he worked until he was well into his 80s.


Quinn was born 100 years ago in Mexico to a Mexican mother and a half-Irish father who fought with Pancho Villa in the Mexican Revolution. Raised in East Los Angeles, he began drawing and sculpting at an early age, and at the age of 17 won an apprenticeship under the architect Frank Lloyd Wright.


As an adult, he found fame as an actor, but he never stopped drawing, never stopped sculpting, and never stopped looking at the world with the eye of an artist.


I’m Anthony Quinn: son, brother, migrant farmer, student, lover, actor, husband, father, sculptor, painter, arrogant bastard. I am Mexican, Irish, Indian, American, Italian, Greek, Spanish, Chinese, Eskimo, Muslim. . . .  Above all though, I am an artist. This was my beginning and it will be my end.

–          Anthony Quinn


Quinn’s artistry shaped the way he developed his characters. “I think he was a wonderful actor because he was such a good artist,” said his wife Katherine Quinn. “To be a good artist you have to be a great observer of human beings.”

Please join the museum, Katherine Quinn, and other guests at 6 p.m. on June 18 for an opening reception that will include special recognition for local recipients of The Anthony Quinn Scholarship for Art, which provides financial assistance to high school students who wish to attend a recognized pre-college, or summer intensive arts education program.


The Museum is grateful to the exhibition sponsors, which include John S. Koudounis & Family, John and Martha Cannis, Angelo and Mary Cappas & Family, Mr. and Mrs. James Karigiannis, Mr. and Mrs. Ernest C. Karras, National Hellenic Invitational Basketball Tournament, Chris P. Tomaras-PanHellenic Scholarship Foundation, and the National Hellenic Society. Sponsorship opportunities are still available.


Tickets for the reception are $25, with all proceeds going to support The Anthony Quinn Foundation. For more information, or to make reservations for the opening reception, call 312-655-1234, ext. 10 or go to