Greg Ridley (a.k.a. Gregory D. Ridley Jr., Tennessee, 1925-2004) hand hammered copper plaque, titled en verso "King," depicting an Egyptian Pharaoh against a spiral background. Plaque is applied to a plaster backing, painted gold to form a frame support with relief-beaded inner edge. Signed Greg Ridley lower right. 11-1/4" x 9-1/4". Biography: Gregory Ridley is best known for his copper panels in the Grand Reading Room of the Nashville Public Library and the Van Vechten Gallery at Fisk University. He was born in Smyrna, Tennessee and moved with his family to Nashville in 1936. After serving in the Navy during WWII, he earned a degree in art education from TSU and went on to become the first African American to receive a master's degree in fine arts from the University of Louisville. Ridley also attended Fisk (where he later worked) and studied under Harlem Renaissance painter and muralist Aaron Douglas, who remained a close friend and mentor until his death. Ridley also taught at the City University of New York and several Southern universities. His work has been exhibited at the Tennessee State Museum, Cheekwood, the J.B. Speed Museum, the Toledo Arts Center, and Morehouse College, among others. Condition: Some light surface wear to copper and to gold paint, overall very good condition.
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