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African American Folk Art

May 20–August 16, 1992

An installation in the American galleries features works by late 19th and early 20th-century African American craft artists. Although self-taught and completely outside academic art circles, the power of perception and directness of observation shown by these artists have attracted the attention of a wide contemporary audience. Among the artists represented are Tennessee sculptor William Edmondson, who was led by divine inspiration to carve his distinctive stone sculptures of animal and human forms; Peter Simmons, born into slavery in 1855, who became one of Charleston's preeminent metalworkers; an unknown carver whose walking sticks have descended through Black families in south-central Virginia; and William Traylor, born into slavery in 1854, who at the age of 84 began creating powerful narrative drawings while living in Montgomery, Alabama.

Main Building


Jack Lindsey

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