Self-Taught Geniuses of the South

The California African American Museum has been given a set of 32 works by Southern self-taught artists, as a gift of collector Gordon W. Bailey. The donation includes works by Sam Doyle, Purvis Young, Hawkins Bolden, Robert Howell, "Missionary" Mary Proctor, Herbert Singleton, and Jimmy Lee Suddoth. At top is Doyle's St. Helena's Black Merry Go Rond, house paint on metal from the early 1980s.

Bailey curated CAAM's 2013 exhibition "Soul Stirring: African American Self-Taught Artists from the South" and has given works to LACMA, the Smithsonian's American Art Museum, and Atlanta's High Museum.

In recent years CAAM has become a significant venue for contemporary art. The permanent collection has focused on California artists. With the Bailey gift the museum will be able to offer a much-expanded presentation of Southern and self-taught art.
Robert Howell, Critter, 1980s. Photo courtesy California African American Museum

Purvis Young, Dudes Talking, 1990s. Photo courtesy California African American Museum
Leroy Almon, Of Two Worlds, c. 1995. Photo courtesy California African American Museum