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"HARD KNOCKS, HARDSHIP AND A LOT OF EXPERIENCE: THE MARITIME ART OF WILLIAM O. GOLDING"
2000-03-14 until 2000-05-28
Telfair Museum of Art
Savannah, GA, USA United States of America

The Telfair presents the first major museum exhibition devoted to the art of self-taught African-American artist William O. Golding (1874-1943). Kidnapped at the age of 8 from the Savannah waterfront in 1882, Golding began his career at sea as a cabin boy and later claimed to have made numerous voyages to far flung corners of the world during a career at sea that spanned almost 50 years.

Golding's reputation rests on a group of approximately 60 color drawings made during the years 1932-1939, while he was a patient at the Marine Hospital in Savannah. Golding (whose birth name may have been Golden) was 59 and suffered from bronchitis and other ailments when he was encouraged to draw from memory by the hospital's recreation director, Margaret Stiles, a member of the Savannah Art Club. Golding's fanciful color drawings primarily depict ships he had seen or served on, and views of exotic ports. His images range from views of the Savannah harbor to scenes of sailing ships chasing whales in the Arctic, South Seas ports featuring erupting volcanoes, and remembered renditions of Chinese architecture. Golding's work relates not only to maritime painting but also to the phenomenon of memory painting in self-taught art. Although Golding's art has been shown and published, this exhibition of approximately 35 drawings loaned from private and public collections marks the first major museum survey of his work.


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