In keeping with our mission to celebrate our rich historical legacy, we will explore and present on this website the lives and works of Plainfield artists who have achieved recognition on a worldwide basis in their respective fields. We are proud of these Plainfield artists and they should not be forgotten. It is our hope that stories and events we produce about them will inspire budding young artists in Plainfield.
The Parliament was the first band they formed in the 1960's and was a doo-wop genre. They practiced in the Silk Palace barbershop on Plainfield Avenue and 3rd Street. The Funkadelics originated in the 1970s and was a black rock band with many of the same members as the Parliament group. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997,
Prince Inducts: www.rockhall.com/inductees/parliament-funkadelic
Bill Evans (1929-1980) was a legendary jazz pianist born in Plainfield. He studied classical music in college but very soon after graduating he became part of the be-bop scene in NYC. He arranged songs and played with Miles Davis. He recorded over 50 albums and was recognized with seven Grammy Awards.
Irving Penn (1917-1980) was born in Plainfield and was one of the most famous 20th century portrait and fashion photographers. His work was heavily featured in Vogue Magazine. He has had shows of his works in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.
Melvin Edwards is a renowned abstract metal sculptor who had is studio in Plainfield in a former foundry. He taught in Rutgers for over 30 years. He had his first major solo exhibit in the Whitney Museum of Art in 1970 and continues to show his works in galleries and museums all over the world.
Janet Groover (1943-2012) was born and grew up in Plainfield. She was a post modern photographer famous for her still life photos of everyday household objects. She had a major retrospective exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in 1987. Many of her exquisite works were printed in the silver gelatin method.
Janet Sobel (1893-1968) was an abstract expressionist painter. She was born in the Ukraine who later emigrated to America in 1908 and settled in Plainfield. She was considered at first to be a primitive housewife artist who only started painting at age 43. She quickly gained national recognition and Peggy Guggenheim in 1945 regarded her as among the strongest women artists in America and gave her a solo show in the Whiney in 1946.