Indepth Arts News: |
"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
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.