Joan Brown (February 13, 1938 – October 26, 1990) was an American figurative painter who lived and worked in Northern California. She was a member of the "second generation" of the Bay Area Figurative Movement. She studied at the California School of Fine Art (now San Francisco Art Institute), graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1959 and a Master of Arts in 1960. While still a student she had her first solo gallery exhibition in 1958. Brown achieved prominence with a style of figurative painting that combined bright color, sometimes cartoonish drawing, and personal symbolism. Her first museum show occurred at the Whitney annual show in New York (now the Whitney Biennial) in 1960 when she was 22. In the 1970s Brown produced autobiographical works based on actual and imagined events. She was a swimmer in amateur competitions and swam in the first women's Golden Gate swim in San Francisco Bay. In 1974 she taught art at the University of California. Brown became increasingly interested in spirituality and New Age ideas, eventually becoming an adherent of Sathya Sai Baba. She made a number of trips to his ashram in Puttaparthi, India. She withdrew from painting later on and concentrated on public sculpture. Her influences were Egyptian and Hindu icons. In 1990, she died in a construction accident while installing an obelisk at the Sai Baba's Eternal Heritage Museum – "Sanathana Samskruti" in Puttaparthi, India.