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Bad Heart Bull, Amos (01 January 1869?–1913), folk artist, was born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in what is now Wyoming, the son of Bad Heart Bull (the elder). His mother's name is unknown. Amos, also known as Eagle Lance, Amos Bad Heart Buffalo, Amos Bad Heart Buffalo Bull, and Tatanka Cante Sice, was also the nephew of Sioux chief He Dog and cousin of the renowned Sioux warrior ...

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Chamberlain, Samuel V. (28 Oct. 1895–10 Jan. 1975), graphic artist, photographer, and gourmet food writer, was born Samuel Vance Chamberlain in Cresco, Iowa, the son of Dr. George Ellsworth Chamberlain, a surgeon, and Cora Lee Summers. In 1901 the family moved to Aberdeen, Washington, where Chamberlain undertook his early education. In ...

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Chambers, Thomas (fl. 1834–1866), folk artist, was born in London, England. He was forty-seven years old in June 1855, according to the New York state census, and thus would have been born either in 1807 or 1808. Nothing is known of his parents or family background or of his artistic training, if any. He came to the United States in 1832. At an unknown date before his departure from England he married Harriet Shellard of London, who followed him to America in 1834. Presumably Chambers wished to establish himself in this country before bringing his wife. No children are recorded in the 1855 census. Harriet Chambers died in New York City in 1864....

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Chandler, Winthrop (06 April 1747–29 July 1790), folk artist, was born at Chandler Hill, the family farm located on the town line between Woodstock and Thompson, Connecticut, the son of William Chandler, a farmer and surveyor, and Jemima Bradbury, a descendant of Governor ...

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Cohoon, Hannah Harrison (01 February 1788–07 January 1864), Shaker artist, was born in Williamstown, Massachusetts, the daughter of Noah B. Harrison, a revolutionary war veteran who died a year after her birth, and Huldah Bacon. She was raised in Williamstown and apparently was married there, to a man named Cohoon, but nothing is known of her husband, though she probably was widowed or abandoned. In 1817, with her five-year-old son, Harrison, and three-year-old daughter, Mariah, she entered the Hancock (Mass.) Shaker Village established twenty-six years earlier by members of the communitarian sect known formally as the United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing and more commonly as the Shakers. Cohoon remained at Hancock (just west of Pittsfield) until her death. Her son and daughter left around 1838, but the daughter, having married and presumably become widowed, returned later in life....

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Finster, Howard (02 December 1916–22 October 2001), preacher and folk artist, was one of thirteen children born in Valley Head, Alabama, to Samuel William Finster and Lula Henegar Finster, farmers. From the age of five he worked on the forty‐acre family farm. Though he described himself as a self‐taught artist and preacher, he was inspired by watching his mother paint, quilt, and make dioramas, which later influenced his own mixed‐media boxes and dioramas....

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Theresa Leininger-Miller

Hampton, James (08 April 1909–04 November 1964), artist, was born in Elloree, South Carolina, the son of James Hampton, believed to have been a gospel singer and Baptist preacher who abandoned his wife (identity unknown) and four children for his itinerant calling. A shy, thin man with little formal education, Hampton moved to Washington, D.C., around the age of nineteen. He began to have religious visions at the age of twenty-two but told few, if any, about them; nor did he belong to a congregation. Nothing is known of his activities from 1928 to 1939. He worked as a short-order cook in local cafes from 1939 to 1942, until he joined the federal labor force, then served with the 385th Aviation Squadron (a noncombatant unit) in Texas, Seattle, Hawaii, Saipan, and Guam during World War II. After receiving an honorable discharge in 1945, he returned to Washington, D.C., where in 1946 he became a janitor for the General Services Administration. He had hoped to find a holy woman to help him with his life’s ambition, but he never married....

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Hicks, Edward (04 April 1780–23 August 1849), folk artist, was born in Attleboro (now Langhorne), Bucks County, Pennsylvania, the son of Isaac Hicks and Catherine Hicks. (His parents were first cousins; his mother’s maiden name was Hicks.) The Hicks family were Anglicans, and Isaac Hicks had sided with the British during the American Revolution. He eventually was forced to flee from Bucks County, leaving his family behind. His wife died not long after, and Edward Hicks, then eighteen months old, was taken in by family friends David and Elizabeth Twining, who raised him in the Quaker faith. When he was thirteen, Hicks was apprenticed to coachmakers William and Henry Tomlinson of Langhorne. He displayed a talent for painting, and in 1801 he became a partner of coachmaker and carriage painter Joshua Canby of Milford, Pennsylvania. In 1803 he married Sarah Worstall; they had a son and four daughters....

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Hunter, Clementine ( December 1886?–01 January 1988), folk artist, was born Clemence Reuben at Hidden Hill Plantation near Cloutierville, Louisiana, the daughter of John Reuben and Antoinette Adams, plantation workers. Her exact birth date is unknown. Most sources agree that she was born either in late December 1886 or early January 1887....

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Parsons, Betty (31 January 1900–23 July 1982), artist, art dealer and collector, was born Elizabeth Bierne Pierson in New York City, the second daughter of three born to Suzanne Miles, a sugar heiress, and J. Fred Pierson, Jr., a businessman. She described her ancestry as “very American,” with intellectuals and prominent political figures on her father’s side and Southern plantation aristocracy on her mother’s, and her upbringing was typical of her social class. She and her two sisters divided their time between family homes in New York City, Newport, Rhode Island, and Palm Beach, Florida, and were often left in the care of servants by absent parents. Betty (as she was known) was an unremarkable student at Miss Chapin’s School for girls, which she began attending in 1910, and didn’t show a special aptitude for art at this early age....

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Pinney, Eunice Griswold (09 February 1770–12 May 1849), amateur watercolor painter, was born in Simsbury, Connecticut, the daughter of Elisha Griswold and Eunice Viets, farmers. The Viets and Griswold families were prosperous as well as influential in the affairs of the Episcopal church in Simsbury, so Eunice and her siblings enjoyed the advantages of wealth and education. Eunice is said to have been “a woman of uncommonly extensive reading.” ...

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Richard Cándida Smith

Rodia, Simon (1879–16 July 1965), artist, was born Sabato Rodia, in Rivatoli, Italy, a peasant community near Nola, twenty miles east of Naples, to Frank Rodia and Angelina (maiden name unknown). During much of his life in the United States, Rodia went by the nickname of Sam. He himself ...