Bill Traylor
January 9—February 6, 2021

Adams and Ollman is pleased to present three works by William "Bill" Traylor (b. 1853, Benton, Alabama; d. 1949, Montgomery, Alabama) on view at the gallery January 9 through February 6, 2021. Traylor, a self-taught artist, born into slavery, began to draw at the age of 85 while living on the streets of Montgomery, Alabama. Using discarded cardboard and signs, pencil, and poster paint, Traylor recorded his memories of plantation life and later observations of the city—uniquely and distinctly describing animals, human figures, and abstract forms with a commanding use of line, color, and composition. Traylor's body of work speaks poignantly to the complexities, inequalities, and tensions that the artist experienced and witnessed during the Jim Crow Era in the United States.

Bill Traylor
Untitled (Woman with Purse and Umbrella), c. 1939–42
colored pencil and graphite on found paper
15 1/2 x 6 inches
BT 129

Bill Traylor
Untitled (Blue Man, Red Dog), c. 1939–42
graphite and posterpaint on cardboard
14 3/4 x 11 inches
BT 95

Bill Traylor
Untitled (Brown Rabbit, Brown Dog), c. 1939–42
graphite and poster paint on cardboard
18 1/4 x 11 1/2 inches
BT 114

Installation Images