Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday Museum Mystery: Who is this Folk Artist?

Monday Museum Mysteries are back! In this biweekly feature, we unlock the vault and share hidden treasures from our collection. Try your hardest to answer the questions asked, and when you think you know, check out the bottom of the post for the correct answer! This semester, Monday Museum Mysteries is teaming up with the Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies, so each post will focus in some way on women and their impact on the world! 

This week, we are looking at Folk Art. The South has a very rich history of artists and their Folk Art. Do you know the names of any Folk artists? You might be familiar with Oxford-native Theora Hamblett. Theora had a similar style to our mystery artist; both of the artists painted things with religious significance. 

Our unknown artist grew up in Lafayette, Alabama, before she moved to New Orleans, where she lived for the rest of her life. She was not only an artist, but she was also a poet, musician, and preacher. Do you know who she is yet?

After she moved to New Orleans, she began an orphanage with two other women. She claimed that God spoke to her and commanded her to paint, which is why she began creating her works. She painted using all kinds of materials. The painting below is pencil, ballpoint pen, and paint on cardboard.

Our artist believed that she was the Bride of God, so many of her works have obvious religious themes. Do you have any idea what this painting is about? It is a scene that our artist captured from the Bible. What do you think a good name for this painting is?

Our mystery artist eventually stopped painting, claiming that God wanted her to pursue poetry and preaching. She was also a musician and recorded an album titled Let's Make a Record

Who is this Folk Artist? After you have thought long and hard about who she is, then scroll down to the end of the post to reveal the answer!

Our artist is Sister Gertrude Morgan, and this painting is titled Beast from the Sea. It is a Biblical story from the Book of Revelations. There is no date on the painting, but Sister Gertrude only painted from 1956 to 1973, which is only 17 years! 

Did you guess the answer correctly? Be sure to check out our next Monday Museum Mystery for more exclusive looks into the University Museum's behind-the-scenes collection!

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