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

Biographical Note

Judith McWillie is an artist, art historian, and professor emeritus of drawing and painting at the Lamar Dodd School of Art of the University of Georgia. Much of her work focuses on African American artists.
Dilmus Hall (1900-1987) was a self-taught African American artist. Born in Georgia in 1900, he joined the United States Army Medical Corps in 1917 and served in Europe as a stretcher-bearer during World War I. After he returned to Georgia, he worked as a waiter and a fabricator of concrete blocks, retiring in 1961 to devote himself to art. Hall decorated his house and yard in Athens, Georgia 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 (1904-1995) was an African American self-taught painter in Mississippi. Her work was often created on readily-available materials such as plywood and corrugated tin. Her work is included in collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
J.B. (John Bunion) Murry (also Murray) (1908-1988) was a self-taught African American artist in Georgia. He worked as a sharecropper for the majority of his life. At the age of 70 he experienced a religious vision and began painting, producing an extensive body of work in ten years. Murry was illiterate, but developed his own script, which he incorporated into his paintings. His work is included in collections at the American Folk Art Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.