As a young man, William Christenberry often traveled the back roads of the South with his father.
Due to the federal government shutdown, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and Renwick Gallery are closed; programs and events at the museum are also canceled.
Painter and etcher born during the Reconstruction era in Montgomery, Ala. She studied in New York at the National Academy of Design and in Paris with Charles Guérin. She established herself principally as a recorder of the South's past.
Reverend Howard Finster preached his first sermon when he was just sixteen years old. He traveled around conducting baptisms, weddings, and funerals, and published some of his sermons in local papers in an attempt to reach more people (The New York Times, "Howard Finster," 2001).
Jimmy Lee Sudduth remembered drawing shapes in the dirt as a child.
In the late 1960s, Mose Tolliver was forced to retire from his job in a Montgomery, Alabama, furniture factory after a thousand-pound crate of marble fell from a forklift and crushed his legs.
William Dawson grew up on a farm in Huntsville, Alabama. In 1923 he moved to Chicago, where he worked in a wholesale food market for almost forty years. After he retired, he took painting and ceramics classes at a Chicago senior center.
"I guess my paintings spread the word; they represent something. They get me a living, of course, and help out the mission here. . . . I am a missionary of Christ before I'm an artist. Give all the fame to some other artist. I work for the Lord.