Skip to main content

Tom Ray letters from Henry Bridgewater, 1992-1999

Ray, Tom


Collection Information

Size: 0.2 Linear feet

Summary: 45 letters to Tom Ray from Henry Bridgewater written during his incarceration at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Bridgewater writes about his works of art, in particular, lamps he created that he would send to Ray. Lamps were based on iconic figures including Wyatt Earp, Dolly Parton, Madonna, Tina Turner and others.

Biographical/Historical Note

Tom Ray was a friend of Lousiana outsider artist, Henry Bridgewater (1925-2001). Bridgewater was incarcerated in 1966 for two life sentences at the Lousiana State Penitentiary, Angola, Lousiana.


The collection was donated in 2019 by Tom Ray.

How to Use This Collection

Restrictions on Access

Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.

How to Cite This Collection

Tom Ray letters from Henry Bridgewater, 1992-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.