Kitchen Scene, Yellow House

Bill Traylor American

Not on view

Born into enslavement in rural Alabama, Traylor—one of the most significant Black artists of the 20th century—experienced first-hand dramatic historical change in the United States, including enslavement, emancipation, Reconstruction, Jim Crow segregation, and the Great Migration. Around 1939, at the age of 86, Traylor began spending his days drawing the life around him in Montgomery, Alabama, as well as revisiting events from his own past. Working with an innate sense of design and storytelling, his radically distinctive renderings are striking in their disregard for spatial depth and proportion. By the time of his death in 1949, Traylor had created over 1,000 pencil drawings and gouache paintings on pieces of found cardboard. This powerful imagery records his unique perspective on African American life in the early 20th-century urban South.

Kitchen Scene, Yellow House, Bill Traylor (American, Benton, Alabama 1853/54–1949 Montgomery, Alabama), Pencil and colored pencil on cardboard, American

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