Georgia Blizzard (also known as Georgia Michael, Virginia, 1919-2002) glazed pottery figure titled "Anguish", depicting a woman holding an apparently lifeless child in her arms. Inscribed G Michael, back of base. 11 5/8 H x 6 3/4" W x 6" D. American, mid/late 20th century. Provenance: The estate of Dr. Benjamin H. Caldwell, Nashville, Tennessee. Biography (from "Self-Taught, Outsider and Folk Art: A Guide to American Artists, Locations and Resources", By Betty-Carol Sellen, and "The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Volume 23: Folk Art", edited by Carol Crown, Cheryl Rivers, Charles Reagan Wilson): Georgia Blizzard, also known as Georgia Michael, was born in Saltville, Virginia and lived in Chilhowie, Virginia. She had a mixed heritage including Apache and Irish ancestry. Her mother taught Blizzard and her sister how to create art using a pit-fire method. As a young girl, she began to make items from clay dug from a creek near her home. She continued to make items and "burn" them in a homemade "pit-fire" kiln on her property. During the Great Depression, she left school in order to be part of the National Youth Administration. She worked in a munitions factory in Bristol during World War II and after that, worked at a textile mill in Chilhowie until 1958. Blizzard contracted black lung and lost one of her lungs, and her husband was crippled in an accident in a coal mine and eventually their marriage failed; he subsequently died in 1954. Blizzard developed paranoid schizophrenia after these events and her art helped her deal with the feelings she needed to work through. She began making art for sale in the late 1950s and sold her pottery in her daughter Mary's shop on her property. In the early 1980s, her neighbor, Michael Martin, contacted a friend to take some of Blizzard's work to a gallery in Buckhead run by Judith Alexander, where Jonathan Williams discovered her work. Blizzard's works are on permanent display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum in Williamsburg, VA and The High Museum in Atlanta. CONDITION: Natural firing cracks to surface of sculpture, largest 1". Repaired break to woman's right upper arm. Repaired breaks to child's head and upper right leg. Traces of adhesive on leg break and child's right arm.
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