Bull Dager

  • Sam Doyle, Bull Dager, ca. 1980, paint on sheet metal, Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Margaret Z. Robson Collection, Gift of John E. and Douglas O. Robson, 2016.38.26

Doyle and his Gullah community on South Carolina’s St. Helena Island embraced personal choice amid the changing society they lived in, understanding that oppression came in many forms. The title of this piece reflects what is now understood as demeaning slang for an African American, masculine lesbian, but Doyle regarded the sexual inclinations, gender identities, and self-presentations of individuals as part of what made them unique, and his aims were to celebrate individuality. About paintings exploring this theme, Doyle noted: That’s two in one, a man and a woman, oh yes, a natural.”
(We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection, 2022)
Bull Dager
ca. 1980
39 18 × 25 12 × 2 38 in. (99.4 × 64.8 × 6.0 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Margaret Z. Robson Collection, Gift of John E. and Douglas O. Robson

Mediums Description
paint on sheet metal
  • African-American
  • Figure – full length
  • African American
Object Number
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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