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"Prophet" William J. Blackmon

Also Known as: William Blackmon

Born:
Albion, Michigan 1921

Died:
Detroit, Michigan 2010

Active in:

  • Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Luce Artist Quote

"God anointed me to be an artist so I could afford a place to sleep." The artist, quoted in Chuck and Jan Rosenak, Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth-century American Folk Art and Artists, 1990


Luce Artist Biography

A folk artist and self-proclaimed preacher, William Blackmon's first paintings were the signs he made to advertise his shoe repair shop in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was encouraged to begin painting seriously when a passerby purchased one of his signs. Blackmon used inexpensive materials such as scraps of wood found in dumpsters and household paint straight from the can. Friends and followers gave the artist the name "Prophet" after a number of his predictions about future events came true. In 1974, Blackmon founded the Revival Center and Shoe Repair Shop in Milwaukee, where he lived, preached, painted, and repaired shoes. His work focused on religious subjects and often tackled the themes of heaven and hell. (Chuck and Jan Rosenak, Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth-century American Folk Art and Artists, 1990)