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Jimmy Hedges papers and Rising Fawn Folk Art Gallery records, 1969-2016

Biographical Note

James R. "Jimmy" Hedges III (1942-2014), was an artist, art collector and dealer of Outsider Art and Folk art in Tennessee and Georgia. Hedges established the Rising Fawn Folk Art Gallery, Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
Born into a prominent family from Chattanooga, Jimmy Hedges was a lifelong philanthropist as a trustee of his family's Tonya Memorial Foundation. His true vocation, however, was as an artist, collector, and dealer of outsider art and as an advocate for self-taught artists. Hedges discovered his love of wood carving as a teenager, when he created song birds, and returned to making art at age forty. Using a chain saw, he carved sculptures of Southerners he had encountered in his travels, including artists. His colleagues in this sector of the fine art craft world were predominantly southern African American self-taught painters, sculptors, potters, and carvers. Befriending them and collecting their work led Hedges to establish Rising Fawn Folk Art Gallery in 1993, building a gallery space in the early 2000s on his 500-acre farm in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
An unconventional art dealer, Hedges would hand-deliver work to collectors' homes, driving his truck through backroads and stopping along the way to visit with artists and purchase more works to sell. He was an active presence at the Outsider Art Fair and self-taught artist exhibitions throughout the U.S., as well as at Slotin Folk Art auctions and prison auctions. His aim was to improve the economic condition of fellow artists and raise their profiles among curators and critics. Hedges' development of an archive was essential to this goal.