Working at a storefront porch in Montgomery, Alabama, using pencils and tempera paint on discarded cardboard, Bill Traylor (ca. 1853-1949) created a dynamic world, full of mirth—and dread—in mysterious narratives that we will never unravel. His silhouetted folks and animals are full of personality—leaping, pointing, promenading and chasing each other. That Traylor was born into slavery, that he only started these works in his mid-eighties after laboring on plantations and farms for decades, and that he created over 1,200 (extant) pieces in less than four years, makes his creations truly remarkable. Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor (Princeton, $60) is the catalog for a powerful show at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Curator Leslie Umberber spent seven years researching Traylor’s story (and clearing up previous narratives), and assembled over 150 Traylor works by themes. (The catalog has fifty more examples—all in full color.) Bill Traylor created a vision of rural and urban African American life, infused with the spirit of folktales, amidst the brutal Jim Crow-era Alabama. To see it is an amazing, transformative experience. Go see this historic show: Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor is at the Smithsonian American Art Museum through March 17, 2019.
Between Worlds: The Art of Bill Traylor by Leslie Umberber
Submitted by bkerfoot on Wed, 2018-12-05 16:54
Availability: Not On Our Shelves—Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Princeton University Press - October 2nd, 2018