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16 Sep 2013

Bill Traylor: Beyond the Figure

Bill Traylor: Beyond the Figure, a full-day symposium, was presented September 16, 2013. Organized by Dr. Valérie Rousseau. Proceedings will be available for purchase.

Anne-Imelda Radice, PhD, executive director, American Folk Art Museum
Valérie Rousseau, PhD, curator, art of the self-taught and art brut, American Folk Art Museum

Opening Lecture
Making Hidden Things Visible
Mechal Sobel, professor emeritus, University of Haifa, Israel

Morning Session: Narratives
Introduction by moderator Valérie Rousseau

Traylor’s World: A Closer Look
Jeffrey Wolf, filmmaker, and Susan Mitchell Crawley, independent curator

Bill Traylor Reporting
Bernard L. Herman, professor, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Telling Tales
Peter Morrin, director, Center for Arts and Culture Partnerships, University of Louisville, Kentucky

Afternoon Session: Tradition and Reception
Introduction by moderator Alana D. Schilling, PhD, writer and Independent art critic

Bill Traylor in Context: African American Artists and Modern Primitives
Bridget R. Cooks, associate professor, University of California, Irvine

On the Absence and Pressence of Bill Traylor within Euro-American and African American Modernist Thought
Charles Russell, professor emeritus, Rutgers University

Mules, Men, Women, and Spirits Conjure in Bill Traylor’s Time
Randall Morris, writer and gallerist

Bill Traylor’s Radical Contemporaneity
Judith McWillie, professor emeritus, University of Georgia, Athens

Keynote Address
Radcliffe Bailey, artist

The symposium is sponsored in party by the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Fund, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Programs on self-taught artists are funded in part by Audrey Heckler and the American Folk Art Museum]s Council for the Study of Art Brut and the Self-Taught, which supports exhibitions, education, conservation, and preservation of twentieth-century and contemporary materials, development of original scholarly research and publications, and acquisitions of new works.


Image: UNTITLED (Two Men, Dog, and Owl), Bill Traylor (c. 1854–1949), Montgomery, Alabama, 1939–1942, colored pencil and charcoal on cardboard, 13 3/4 x 10 7/8 in., Louis-Dreyfus Family Collection.