A Finding Aid to the Videos and Slides on Dilmus Hall, Mary T. Smith, and J.B. Murry, circa 1984-1986, at the Archives of American Art

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.mcwijudi
Creators:
McWillie, Judith
Dates:
circa 1984-1986
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.4 Linear Feet
Repository:
The videos and slides on African American folk artists Dilmus Hall, Mary T. Smith, and J.B. Murry measure 0.4 linear feet and date from circa 1984 to 1986. The collection includes recorded interviews conducted by art historian Judith McWillie with the artists about their lives and work, and color slides of Dilmus Hall and Mary T. Smith with their work.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The videos and slides on African American folk artists Dilmus Hall, Mary T. Smith, and J.B. Murry measure 0.4 linear feet and date from circa 1984 to 1986. The collection includes recorded interviews conducted by art historian Judith McWillie with the artists about their lives and work, and color slides of Dilmus Hall and Mary T. Smith with their work.
The materials related to Dilmus Hall include a 1984 interview (dubbed in 1986) in which Hall covers many topics ranging from his childhood to religious influences in his work, as well as 41 color slides of Hall, his home, and his work.
Materials related to Mary T. Smith and J.B. Murry include an interview with Mary T. Smith in December 1986 and one with J.B. Murry in May 1986, both dubbed onto the same tape. Also included are 10 color slides of Mary T. Smith and her artwork.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged in two series.
  • Series 1: Material Related to Dilmus Hall, circa 1984-1986 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)
  • Series 2: Material Related to Mary T. Smith and J.B. Murry, 1986 (Box 1; 0.2 linear feet)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Judith McWillie is an artist, art historian, and professor emeritus of drawing and painting at the Lamar Dodd School of Art of the University of Georgia. Much of her work focuses on African American artists.
Dilmus Hall (1900-1987) was a self-taugh African American artist. Born in Georgia in 1900, he joined the United States Army Medical Corps in 1917 and served in Europe as a stretcher-bearer during World War I. After he returned to Georgia, he worked as a waiter and a fabricator of concrete blocks, retiring in 1961 to devote himself to art. Hall decorated his house and yard in Athens, Georgia with sculpted animals, devils, and humans, often based on biblical themes. He has also produced hundreds of drawings in a cartoon-like style.
Mary Tillman Smith (1904-1995) was an African American self-taught painter in Mississippi. Her work was often created on readily-available materials such as plywood and corrugated tin. Her work is included in collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
J.B. (John Bunion) Murry (also Murray) (1908-1988) was a self-taught African American artist in Georgia. He worked as a sharecropper for the majority of his life. At the age of 70 he experienced a religious vision and began painting, producing an extensive body of work in ten years. Murry was illiterate, but developed his own script, which he incorporated into his paintings. His work is included in collections at the American Folk Art Museum and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Administration
Processing Information
The collection was processed and a finding aid prepared by Rayna Andrews in 2018 with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation.
Author
Rayna Andrews
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Videos and slides on Dilmus Hall, Mary T. Smith, and J.B. Murry were donated to the Archives of American Art by Judith McWillie in 1986 and 1987.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Conditions Governing Use
Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce requires written permission from Judith McWillie.
Preferred Citation
Videos and slides on Dilmus Hall, Mary T. Smith, and J.B. Murry, circa 1984-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art are J.B. Murray drawings, 1985 on microfilm reel 3667.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
African American art -- African influences Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American folk art Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American women artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Art historians Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Folk artists -- Georgia -- Interviews Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sculptors Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Interviews Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slides (photographs) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hall, Dilmus, 1900-1987 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Murry, J. B. (John B.), 1908-1988 (John B.) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Smith, Mary T. (Mary Tillman), 1904-1995 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/