Videos and slides on Dilmus Hall, Mary T. Smith, and J.B. Murry, 1984-1986

McWillie, Judith
Art historian
Active in Athens, Ga.

Collection size: 3 videocassettes (U-matic) ; 3/4 in.
51 slides.

Collection Summary: McWillie's videotapes of Afro-American folk artists Dilmus Hall, Mary T. Smith, and J.B. Murry, and slides of art works and the artists. Hall, in a June 1984 interview (on 2 videocassettes), speaks of his childhood, military service in WWI, his travels in Europe, his use of tree bark, cement, wood, tin and other materials, his friendship with Andy Nasisse, and his impression of an exhibition at Nexus in Atlanta. He preaches from the Bible and comments on African and Southern Christian influences on his work and the narrative content of his drawings. Brief interviews with J.B. Murry in Warren County, Ga. (May 1986) and Mary T. Smith in Hazelhurst, Miss. (Dec. 1986) are combined on one videocassette.

Slides consist of 41 of Hall, his art works, and his home, and 10 of Smith and her work.

Biographical/Historical Note: McWillie, an art historian at the University of Georgia, Athens, researched Southern folk artists Dilmus Hall, Mary T. Smith and J.B. Murry. Hall was born in North Georgia in 1900. He worked as a waiter and construction worker before retiring in 1961 to devote himself to art. His yard and cinder block house in Athens, Ga. are decorated with sculpted animals, devils, and humans, often based on Biblical themes. He has also produced hundreds of drawings in a cartoon-like style. Mary Tillman Smith (b. 1904) produced art from roofing materials and plywood squares. Murry (also Murray), is from Athens, Ga.

Donated 1986 and 1987 by Judy McWillie.

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