Expanding the Legacy: New Collections on African American Art

Jimmy Hedges papers and Rising Fawn Folk Art Gallery records

Donated in 2016 by James R. Hedges IV, son of Jimmy Hedges.

The papers of James R. "Jimmy" Hedges III (1942–2014)—real estate developer, philanthropist, wood carver, and art dealer—documents more than 400 "outsider" artists, a term Hedges used interchangeably with "self–taught," and "folk," through biographies, newspaper clippings, and thousands of photographs that he took of the artists and their work, homes, and studios. Based out of his gallery on his farm in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, Jimmy Hedges sought to elevate these folk artists above local renown and to facilitate a network between them.

An unconventional art dealer, Hedges would hand–deliver purchases to collectors' homes, driving his truck on back roads and stopping along the way to acquire more works.