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Sister Gertrude Morgan (American)

Paintings

Birth Place: LaFayette, AL USA

Biography:

Who was painter Sister Gertrude Morgan?

Sister Gertrude Morgan was a self-taught artist and musician who worked as a preacher up until her death in 1980. Her work helped bring folk art back into the mainstream art world, and she was heralded for her visionary approach to folk art. Originally used as a visual aid to help with her sermons, Sister Gertrude Morgan’s paintings went through significant evolutions from the 1950s to the 1980s. While her style may have changed, her subject matter was often the same, depicting scenes from the bible and other religiously significant scenes in many of her pieces. While her work wasn’t schooled in formal techniques, her amazing use of perspective, shadow, and light gives her work an arresting quality that is as vibrant today as it was when it was created.

What kind of art did Sister Gertrude Morgan make?

Sister Gertrude Morgan made religious folk art, often with acrylics, tempera, or watercolors. She also used (at the time) non-traditional materials like a crayon, toilet paper rolls, paper megaphones, and even Styrofoam trays. Her experimentation and lack of formal schooling led to many considering her one of the first outsider artists to have meaningful success. While her work was often biblically influenced, her novel approach to art has given her work a new life that extends past any religious or cultural barriers. Sister Gertrude Morgan’s work is truly original and she has, in the years since her death, entered the pantheon of great 20th century American artists.

How did painter Sister Gertrude Morgan get started?

Sister Gertrude Morgan was born into a large family in rural Alabama at the turn of the last century. Her family didn’t have much money and for that reason, Sister Gertrude Morgan left school before the third grade. From 1917 on she worked as a servant and nursemaid in a private home in Georgia. She became heavily involved with religion sometime in her teens, but it wasn’t until a revelation from God in 1956 that she began painting. Morgan began to paint on everything, plastic pitchers, scrap wood, even lampshades -- which led to her being associated with the outsider artist movement of the 20th century. In 1960 an art dealer met her in New Orleans, cultivated an audience for her, and began finding her exhibitions at museums and galleries.

How much are Sister Gertrude Morgan paintings worth?

A Sister Gertrude Morgan painting can be worth a few thousand dollars on the low end, but trending to $60,000 or more on the high end. Many of her paintings have become extremely popular in recent years as more outsider artists have come to auction. Her unique mixture of simple aesthetics, psychedelic imagery, and vibrant colors have given Morgan’s work a surge in popularity for collectors. The most ever paid for a Sister Gertrude Morgan painting is $68,750 for the piece Precious Lord (1970 - 1975) on January 20th, 2017. It beat its high estimate by nearly thirty thousand dollars.

Where to buy Sister Gertrude Morgan paintings for sale?

See works for sale below. Why buy from Heritage? Art buyers feel confident because our experts know the market and put careful valuations on artwork for sale. We make the bidding process easier to help you expand your art collection.

How to value Sister Gertrude Morgan paintings?

The best way to value art is to compare past auction prices for similar works. View past sale prices below. When you’re ready to sell, contact Heritage Auctions to request an auction estimate of the likely selling price at auction. If you need a formal written appraisal for estate planning or insurance, please contact our Appraisal Services Department.


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