A Finding Aid to the Andy Nasisse Files Relating to Self-Taught Artists, circa 1979-circa 1986, in the Archives of American Art.

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.nasiandy
Creators:
Nasisse, Andy S., 1946-
Dates:
circa 1979-circa 1986
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.8 Linear feet
Repository:
The Andy Nasisse files relating to self-taught artists measure 0.8 linear feet and date from 1979 to 1986, with additional undated materials. Included are artist files on twenty-five self-taught artists. Files consist primarily of black and white photographs of artists, their artworks, and photographs of unidentified artworks. Also included is a letter discussing artist Howard Finster's first dealer, Jeffrey Camp, and in which Nasisse offers his advice to Finster to limit production of his work. An audio recording of an interview with Miles Carpenter conducted by Nasisse, and a documentary about J. B. Murray, A Video Documentary of an Artist and His Work, are also present in these files. The documentary features many of Murray's paintings and drawings, as well as his comments on his art and visions. The artists included in the files are Eldren M. (E. M.) Bailey, Miles Carpenter, Tessie Carroll, Emanuel "Litto" Damonte, Samuel Perry (S.P.) Dinsmoor, Sam Doyle, John Ehn, Howard Finster, Laura Pope Forrester, Dilmus Hall, Irene Hall, Bessie Harvey, St. EOM (Eddie Owens Martin), Jeff McKissack, John Milkovitch, J. B. Murray, Grandma Tressa Prisbrey, Dow Pugh, W.T. Ratcliffe (or Ratliff), William Carlton Rice (Mr. Rice), Royal Robertson, James "Son Ford" Thomas, Mose Tolliver, Frank van Zant (Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder), and Brother Joseph Zoetl.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Andy Nasisse files relating to self-taught artists measure 0.8 linear feet and date from 1979 to 1986, with additional undated materials. Included are artist files on twenty-five self-taught artists. Files consist primarily of black and white photographs of artists, their artworks, and photographs of unidentified artworks. Also included is a letter discussing artist Howard Finster's first dealer, Jeffrey Camp, and in which Nasisse offers his advice to Finster to limit production of his work. An audio recording of an interview with Miles Carpenter conducted by Nasisse, and a documentary about J. B. Murray, A Video Documentary of an Artist and His Work, are also present in these files. The documentary features many of Murray's paintings and drawings, as well as his comments on his art and visions.
The artists included in the files are Eldren M. (E. M.) Bailey, Miles Carpenter, Tessie Carroll, Emanuel "Litto" Damonte, Samuel Perry (S.P.) Dinsmoor, Sam Doyle, John Ehn, Howard Finster, Laura Pope Forrester, Dilmus Hall, Irene Hall, Bessie Harvey, St. EOM (Eddie Owens Martin), Jeff McKissack, John Milkovitch, J. B. Murray, Grandma Tressa Prisbrey, Dow Pugh, W.T. Ratcliffe (or Ratliff), William Carlton Rice (Mr. Rice), Royal Robertson, James "Son Ford" Thomas, Mose Tolliver, Frank van Zant (Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder), and Brother Joseph Zoetl.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Andy Nasisse (1946-) is a ceramicist sculptor, potter, and former professor at the University of Georgia. Starting in the 1970s, he visited self-taught artists and photographed their art, environments and, in some cases, conducted interviews with them. He has had a solo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia and is the recipient of the Art Regional Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Miles Carpenter (also known as Miles Burkholder Carpenter or Miles B. Carpenter) (1889-1985) was a sculptor active in Waverly, Virginia who carved figures and animals from wood and referred to some as "advertisements."
Tessie Carroll was an Oklahoma folk artist known for her rock sculptures and carvings.
Eldren M. (E.M.) Bailey (1903-1987) was an African American sculptor and painter from Atlanta, Georgia whose sculptures were influenced from his background making grave markers.
Emanuel "Litto" Damonte (1892-1985) started collecting hubcaps in 1957 and created an art environment on his property in Napa Country, California, known as Hubcap Ranch.
Samuel Perry (S.P). Dinsmoor (1843-1932) was a Kansan sculptor who designed a sculpture garden at his home called the Garden of Eden," consisting of over 200 concrete works reflecting his religious and political beliefs.
Sam Doyle (1906-1985) was an African American artist born on St. Helena, an island off the coast of South Carolina, whose colorful paintings document the island's people and Gullah culture.
John Ehn (1887-1981) was a former trapper turned sculptor who decorated the landscape of his Californian motel, Old Trapper's Lodge, with sculptures depicting myths and the Old West.
Howard Finster (1916-2001) was a Georgian folk artist and Baptist minister known for his former home, Paradise Garden, consisting of constructions, found objects and sculptures.
Laura Pope Forrester (1873-1953) was a sculptor who created figurative works in her Georgian garden that depicted notable women and fictional characters.
Dilmus Hall (1896-1987) was an African American artist whose sculptural works are associated with religious customs that combine African traditions and Christianity.
Irene Hall was an Oklahoman artist who decorated her home with sculptural works she had made with found objects.
Bessie Harvey (1929-1994) was an African American folk artist from Tennessee who created wooden sculptures often inspired by nature.
Eddie Owens Martin "St. EOM" (1908-1986) was a Georgian artist who created a visionary art environment called Pasaquan.
Jeff McKissack (1902-1980) is the creator of The Orange Show, an art environment constructed in Houston Texas to honor his favorite fruit.
John Milkovitch (1912-1988) was a retired upholsterer who constructed the Beer Can House, by decorating his home with over 50,000 fattened beer cans.
J. B. Murry (1910-1988) (also known as J.B. Murray) was an African American painter who incorporated illegible text in his work which he interpreted with the use of a bottle of well water.
Tressa "Grandma" Prisbrey (1896-1988) constructed numerous structures out of bottles and found objects at her home creating what became known as Grandma Prisbrey's Bottle Village.
Dow Pugh (1906-1993) was an artist from Tennessee who created paintings and sculptural works.
W. T. Ratcliffe was an engineer who, in the 1930s created sculptures in Boulder Park in Jacumba, California.
William Carlton Rice (1930-2004) was a self-ordained minister who created a Cross Garden around his home in Alabama.
Royal Robertson (1936-1997) was an African American artist and self-proclaimed prophet from Louisiana whose work incorporated biblical themes, and references to "girlie magazines" and comic strips.
James "Son Ford" Thomas (1926- 1993) was an African American sculptor and blues musician from Mississippi who is known for his clay skull sculptures.
Mose Tolliver (1919-2006) was an African American folk painter from Alabama who painted with house paint on wood.
Frank van Zant "Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder" (1921-1989) was an Oklahoman artist who created a park in Nevada dedicated to the American Indian known as Thunder Mountain Monument.
Brother Joseph Zoettl (1878-1961) was a monk who constructed a miniature city of famous religious buildings at St. Bernard Abbey known as Ave Maria Grotto.

Administration
Processing Information
This collection was minimally processed and a finding aid prepared in 2019 by Candice Yates, supervised by Rayna Andrews with funding from the Henry Luce Foundation.
Author
Candice Yates
Sponsor
Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The Andy Nasisse files relating to self-taught artists were donated to the Archives of American Art by Andy Nasisse in 1985.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Conditions Governing Use
Video on J.B. Murray: Authorization to publish, quote, or reproduce must be obtained from Andy Nasisse.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Preferred Citation
Andy Nasisse files relating to self-taught artists, circa 1979-circa 1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Also found in the Archives of American Art are the Photographs and videos of self-taught artists; Willie Ann Wright photographs; Howard Finster papers; John F. Turner research material on Howard Finster; Howard Finster interview and recordings; Videos and slides on Dilmus Hall, Mary T. Smith, and J.B. Murry; Willem Volkersz interviews; and J. B. Murray drawings. There is also an oral history interview with Howard Finster conducted by Liza Kirwin in 1984.
The California State University, Channel Islands holds the Prisbrey bottle village collection. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill holds the Judith McWillie papers. The University of Georgia Special Collections Libraries holds the Howard Finster collection and the Howard Finster Tapes.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Educators -- Georgia Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Self-taught artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Folk artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sound recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Video recordings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ceramicists -- Georgia Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Potters -- Georgia Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
African American artists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bailey, E. M. (Eldren M.) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Carpenter, Miles B. (Miles Burkholder), 1889- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Carroll, Tessie Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Damonte, Emanuel "Litto", d. 1985 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dinsmoor, Samuel Perry, 1843-1932 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Doyle, Sam, 1906-1985 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ehn, John Henry, 1896-1981 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Finster, Howard, 1916-2001 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Forester, Laura Pope, 1873-1953 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hall, Dilmus, 1900-1987 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Hall, Irene Gibson, ca. 1895-1983 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Harvey, Bessie, 1929- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Murry, J. B. (John B.), 1908-1988 (John B.) Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prisbrey, Tressa Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pugh, Dow, 1906- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rice, William Carlton, 1930-2004 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Robertson, Royal Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Van Zant, Frank, 1911-1989 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
St. EOM, 1908-1986 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Thomas, Son, 1926-1993 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tolliver, Mose, 1920- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Zoetl, Joseph, 1878-1961 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
McKissack, Jeff, 1902-1980 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Milkovitch, John, 1912-1988 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ratcliffe, W. T., 1882-1956 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
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