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Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collection of the High Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

July 11, 2013–September 22, 2013
Exhibition

This exhibition will include approximately 63 drawings and paintings by self-taught Alabama artist Bill Traylor. Traylor began making art near the end of his life, and his works are notable for their flat, simply defined shapes and vibrant compositions in which memories and observations relating to African American life are merged. Traylor is recognized as one of the finest American artists of the 20th century.

Artworks

Untitled (Man in Blue Pants)
Bill Traylor (c. 1854–1949)
Montgomery, Alabama
c. 1939–1947
Poster paint, pencil, colored pencil, and charcoal on cardboard
10 5/8 x 7 1/4 in.
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, T. Marshall Hahn Collection, 1997.115
Photo by Mike Jensen

Untitled (Woman with Bird)
Bill Traylor (c. 1854–1949)
Montgomery, Alabama
c. 1940–1942
Watercolor and graphite on cardboard
13 1/4 x 7 3/8 in.
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, gift of Charles and Eugenia Shannon, M1982.4.07
Photo by Lyle Peterzell

Untitled (Figures, Construction)
Bill Traylor (c. 1854–1949)
Montgomery, Alabama
c. 1940–1942
Graphite and ink on cardboard
13 1/8 x 7 7/8 in.
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, gift of Charles and Eugenia Shannon, M.1982.4.09
Photo by Lyle Peterzell

Untitled (Figures, Constructions)
Bill Traylor (c. 1854–1949)
Montgomery, Alabama
c. 1940–1942
Watercolor and graphite on cardboard
12 5/8 x 11 5/8 in.
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, gift of Charles and Eugenia Shannon, M1982.4.16
Photo by Lyle Peterzell

Untitled (Woman)
Bill Traylor (c. 1854–1949)
Montgomery, Alabama
c. 1939
Graphite, crayon, and charcoal on cardboard
12 5/8 x 6 7/8 in.
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama, gift of Charles and Eugenia Shannon, M1982.4.04
Photo by Lyle Peterzell

Untitled (Figure Construction with Waving Man)
Bill Traylor (c. 1854–1949)
Montgomery, Alabama
c. 1939–1947
Poster paint and pencil on cardboard
13 7/16 x 7 3/8 in.
High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, purchase with funds from Mrs. Lindsey Hopkins Jr., Edith G. and Philip A. Rhodes, and the Members Guild, 1982.92
Photo by Mike Jensen

Credits

“Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of the High Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts” is co-organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery. The exhibition is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The presentation at the American Folk Art Museum is sponsored in part by Joyce Berger Cowin, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the Ford Foundation, the Robert Lehman Foundation, the David Davies and Jack Weeden Fund for Exhibitions, and Laura and Richard Parsons. Lectures and symposia are supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Resources
Bill Traylor: Drawings from the Collections of the High Museum of Art and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
Buy the exhibition catalog
Bill Traylor panel discussion
Watch the video
Reviews
"Bill Traylor's talent surfaced suddenly when he was 85."
– New York Times
"The magnitude of this exhibition reveals surprising oversights in critical reception of Traylor’s work in decades past."
– Brooklyn Rail
"The pleasures here are numerous."
– Gallerist