SAAM has acquired nearly one-hundred works of self-taught art from the collection of Margaret Z. Robson. The paintings, drawings, and sculptures were created by forty-eight artists including James Castle, Thornton Dial Sr., Judith Scott, and Bill Traylor. The Robson gift comprises the largest acquisition of self-taught artworks in 20 years and reaffirms the museum's deep and lasting commitment to this area of artistic endeavor.
The Smithsonian American Art Museum just acquired several major works by Bill Traylor (ca. 1853–1949), an artist who was born into slavery and first began his creative life as an elderly man, after living and working primarily as a sharecropper.