Gordon Parks (1912-2006) was often referred to as a Renaissance man, as noted in an obituary by Dennis McLellan [Los Angeles Times March 8, 2006], and lived up to the label: “In addition to his photography, film work and poetry, he composed a symphony, sonatas, concertos, film scores, and wrote novels, instructional photography manuals, essays and three memoirs.
“He received numerous honors over the years, including the National Medal of Arts from President Reagan. He was a high school dropout.”
> From my page: Multitalented actors and other artists.
Other examples of creative polymaths:
Actor Mayim Bialik earned her Ph.D. from UCLA in Neuroscience, and on “The Big Bang Theory” she plays Amy Farrah Fowler, a neurobiologist and “not-girlfriend” of physicist Sheldon Cooper.
James Franco was enrolled in Yale University’s English PhD program and North Carolina’s Warren Wilson College for poetry and earned a master’s degree from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and Columbia University’s MFA writing program.
In his post How Renaissance People Think – The thinking style of polymaths, Scott Barry Kaufman, PhD asks, “Do you think like a polymath? Here’s a quick test: Are you more of a rational or experiential/intuitive thinker?
“If you cringed as you read the question and thought to yourself ‘I love constantly shifting between both modes of thought’, then you’re on the polymath path.”
> From post: I Want To Do It All: Creative Polymathy