DescriptionSister Gertrude Morgan (American, 1900-1980)
Acrylic and pencil on paper
13 x 20 inches (33.0 x 50.8 cm) (sheet)
Signed lower center: Sister / Gertrude / Morgan
PROPERTY FROM THE ESTATE OF BEVERLY FIELD
She was born Gertrude Williams in 1900 in Lafayette, Alabama, married young, and devoted the second half of her life to following God's will. In 1937, God "told her" to share the gospel with the world, so she became an itinerant street preacher, eventually settling in New Orleans -- what she called "the headquarters of sin" -- where she co-founded an orphanage and ministered to the poor. In 1956, God spoke to her again, this time commanding her to paint, and paint she did, despite her lack of training - brightly hued, childlike religious fantasias rendered in crayon, pencil, pen, and acrylics on canvas, cardboard, wood, toilet paper rolls, lamp shades, funeral parlor fans, jelly glasses, and detergent boxes. Morgan's whimsical images, which she coupled with rambling Bible verses, were designed as both personal devotions and teaching tools.
Around the same time that Morgan began painting as a means of evangelizing, God proclaimed that she was to serve as the Bride of Christ. Shedding her black robes, she donned a nurse's white uniform with cap and set up shop in the whitewashed Everlasting Gospel Mission in the French Quarter. Her colorful paintings, signed "Your Boss's Wife" and "Nurse to Doctor Jesus," enlivened the otherwise white environment. Sister Gertrude famously worked the crowds outside of the Mission, playing her tambourine, singing in a husky voice, and shouting sermons through her painted megaphone. Her lively personality and art attracted the local gallery owner Larry Borenstein, who during the 1960s catapulted her to national acclaim by organizing exhibitions of her paintings, producing record albums of her singing-preaching, and raising money to help her maintain the Mission. The American Folk Art Museum in New York held a major retrospective of her work in 2004, almost twenty-five years after her death in 1980.
There appears to be no major visible condition issues to note; not examined out of frame; framed under glass. Framed Dimensions 20 X 26.5 Inches
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Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Framed - without Glass, Medium (view shipping information)
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