William Dawson

1901 – 1990 (Alabama)

Retiree and self-taught whittler, whose multi-faced totems and frontal figurines were fashioned from discarded wood, and adorned with wigs and other paraphernalia. The artist is of legendary status in Chicago, which is the source for the installation of pieces in this exhibition.

Collections: Smithsonian Museum (Washington DC); AFAM (New York).
Exhibitions: Self-Taught (2021), Wiregrass Museum of Art (Alabama); What Carried Us Over (2020) The Pérez Art Museum (Miami); Black Folk Art in America (1984), Corcoran (Washington DC).
Publications: American Self-Taught Art (2003), F & J Laffal; American Self-Taught Paintings and Drawings (1993), F Maresca; Black Folk Art in America (1982), J Livingston & J Beardsley.