Clementine Reuben Hunter (Louisiana, 1886-1988) early oil on canvasboard folk art farm scene titled "Picking Flowers", variant of her common theme, Uncle Tom's Cabin, circa 1960s. Painting depicts a man with white beard, "Uncle Tom," and young "Eliza" in a bright yellow dress with red hair ribbons, tending to and picking flowers around the base of a birdhouse on pole foreground; large white goose and vegetable garden lower left; "Simon Legree" with whip and dogs upper left; cabin lower right background, blackbirds flying above right. Monogram signature lower right. Labels en verso for Knoke Gallery (Atlanta, GA); canvas is also stamped "F.L. (Doc) Spellmon, Artist, Black Art Studio Ltd. San Antonio TX" with hand inscription "(Collection) T.O. see file Wilford Healy from Louisiana." Housed in a carved dark wood frame with gilt painted wood liner. Sight – 17 1/2" H x 23 3/8" W. Framed – 23 1/2" H x 29 1/4" W. Note: we wish to thank Thomas Whitehead for confirming the authenticity of this painting. Provenance: Private Southern Collection, ex-Knoke Galleries, Atlanta. Biography: A self-taught artist, Clementine Hunter created bright, whimsical folk paintings depicting life in and around the Melrose cotton plantation where she lived and worked, near Natchitoches, Louisiana. She did not start painting until her 50s. She used whatever surfaces she could find, and, working from memory, recorded everyday life, from work in the cotton fields to baptisms and funerals. She rendered her figures, usually black, in expressionless profile and disregarded formal perspective and scale. Though she first exhibited in 1949, Hunter did not garner public attention until the 1970s when both the Museum of American Folk Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art exhibited her paintings. Even with such success, Hunter chose to stay in Louisiana, working at Melrose Plantation until 1970 when she moved to a small trailer a few miles away on an unmarked road. (source: The National Museum of Women in the Arts). CONDITION: Painting in overall very good condition. Wood frame with minor general wear.
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