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William Hawkins

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William Lawrence Hawkins is a self-taught African American folk artist who was proudly born -- as noted on nearly all of his paintings -- on July 27, 1895 in Union City, Kentucky. At the age of 21, Hawkins moved to Columbus, Ohio and worked on a farm as a handyman and construction worker, often scavenging materials and house paint that would eventually be used in his art work. In the 1930's, Hawkins learned to draw by copying illustrations from horse-auction announcements and calendar pictures and would continue to create fantastical images of local architecture and animals for the next 60 years. Hawkins frequently used a variety of media, including discarded materials, to create his paintings and his work is distinguished by its bold color and design and directly engages twentieth-century and contemporary artistic practices and issues. In 1982, Lee Garrett, a friend and graduate student in art at The Ohio State University, entered one of Hawkins’ paintings in the Ohio State Fair, where it was awarded first prize. After the Ohio State Fair, Hawkins had found representation with a New York art gallery and the nation now would know and recognize the brilliance of William Hawkins.

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William L. Hawkins (27 July 1895 – 1990) was an African-American folk artist whose work began receiving acclaim in the 1980s. Hawkins frequently used a variety of media, including discarded materials, to create his paintings.

Hawkins' works have been exhibited in institutions such as the Smithsonian American Art Museum, American Folk Art Museum in New York City and San Diego's Mingei International Museum.

A major retrospective of Hawkins paintings was organized in 2018 by the Columbus Museum of Art, the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa.

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William Hawkins Artworks
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