Alabama Art History

with an emphasis on representational art



This section of the Traditional Fine Arts Organization (TFAO) catalogue Topics in American Art is devoted to the topic "Alabama Art History." Articles and essays specific to this topic published in TFAO's Resource Library are listed at the beginning of the section. Clicking on titles takes readers directly to the articles and essays.

Following the links to Resource Library articles and essays are a listing of museums in the state which have provided materials to Resource Library for this or any other topic.

Listed after Resource Library articles, essays and museums are links to online resources outside the TFAO website. Following these resources is information about offline resources including DVDs, paper-printed books, journals and articles. Our goal is to present complete knowledge relating to this section of Topics in American Art.

TFAO welcomes volunteers to further the broadening of knowledge related to this topic. To learn more about TFAO's many volunteer opportunities please click here. Volunteers are welcome to contribute suggestions for additional content in this catalogue. Please see Catalogue and database management for details.


Resource Library essays listed by author name in alphabetical order, followed by articles:

Beyond Moonlight and Magnolias: Contemporary Women Artists of Alabama

History Refused to Die-Alabama's African-American Self-Taught Artists in Context

We recommend that researchers always search within Resource Library for additional material. Please see TFAO's page How to research topics not listed for more information. As of April, 2015 Resource Library contains 254 pages including the state's name.


Museums and other non-profit sources of Resource Library articles and essays:

Anniston Museum of Natural History

Berman Museum of World History

Birmingham Museum of Art

Gadsden Museum of Arts

Huntsville Museum of Art

Mobile Museum of Art

Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts

Wiregrass Museum of Art


Other online information:

Alabama State Capitol murals and sculptures from Wikipedia

The Bayou Painters describes an art colony active in Coden and Bayou la Batre, Alabama in the late 1940s and early 1950s; from Mobile Bay Wiki. Accessed July, 2015

Dixie Art Colony/Alabama Gulf Coast Colony, from Dixie Art Colony was founded by John Kelly Fitzpatrick in 1933. Accessed July, 2015

"Documentary sings praises of Fayette Art Museum" By Mark Hughes Cobb, May 13, 2012, Cobb writes about a documentary film about the creation of the Fayette Art Museum and artists in its collection titled "Treasures from the Rubble." Accessed January, 2016

The Encyclopedia of Alabama features a section titled Arts and Literature containing within Arts pages Decorative Arts, Photography, Painting, Sculpture, and the Plastic Arts. Biographies of several historic artists are included. Accessed July, 2015

The Fayette Art Museum website contains a list of historic Alabama artists featured in the mseum's collection. Accessed January, 2016

Magic City Realism: Richard Coe's Birmingham  is a 2018 exhibit at the Birmingham Museum of Art which says: "In the wake of the Great Depression, Birmingham experienced a remarkable transformation that helped shape the city as we know it today. Artist Richard Coe, an Alabama native, documented the city's rapidly changing urban fabric in his prints and paintings. Magic City Realism: Richard Coe's Birmingham brings together over 60 of Coe's images of the city from this decade for the first time." Also see 3/22/18 article and Richard Blauvelt Coe at Bhamwiki   Accessed 5/18

Our Shared Heritage: Alabama Artists from the Collection  is a 2019 exhibit at the Huntsville Museum of Art which says: "During the run of Our Shared Heritage, the Chan Gallery will become a microcosm of Alabama as seen through the eyes of artists past and present who have captured the people, places and traditions of our state."  Accessed 3/19

The Quilts of Gee's Bend from NPR including a February 4, 2003 15 minute audio recording. Accessed July, 2015

Quilts of Gee's Bend in Context project at Auburn University. Accessed July, 2015

New Deal Art in Alabama from Accessed July, 2015

Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art at The University of Alabama is a comprehensive collection of 20th-century African American art. Web page contains link to 8-minute video. Accessed January, 2016

The Sarah Carlisle Towery Art Colony website. See history section. Accessed July, 2015

Sewn Together: Two Centuries of Alabama Quilts is a 2017 exhibit at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts which says: "The quilts in this exhibition are presented as "exemplary pairs" demonstrating and illustrating comparisons of the varied techniques, themes, and traditional patterns as seen in two hundred years of Alabama quilt making." Also see exhibit website.  Accessed 3/17

A Southern Impression: The Printmakers of Alabama, an online exhibition from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts contains biographies of Alabama printmakers, interpretative text and additional sources of information for further study.. [Link found to be expired as of 2015 audit. TFAO is saving the citation for use by researchers.]

Sidney Dickinson: A Connecticut Yankee in King Cotton's Court is a 2017 exhibit at the Greenville County Museum of Art which says: "Dickinson traveled to Alabama in 1926, when he was commissioned to paint the portrait of former Alabama Governor Thomas Kilby. During this visit, he also painted the two Montgomery landscapes, which feature a large central building with chimney-like projections." Accessed 12/17

TFAO's Distinguished Artists catalogue provides online access to biographical information for artists associated with this state. Also, Search Resource Library for online articles and essays concerning both individual artists associated with this state's history and the history of art centers and museums in this state. Resource Library articles and essays devoted to individual artists and institutions are not listed on this page.


Books, listed by year of publication, with most recently published book listed first:

Alabama Folk Pottery, by Joey Brackner. 352 pages. Publisher: University Alabama Press; 1 edition (September 29, 2006). ISBN-10: 0817315098. ISBN-13: 978-0817315092. Review: "A major addition to the study of southern pottery as well as Alabama history and art. I'm truly impressed with the extraordinary number of potters Brackner has uncovered and the wide range of evidence he uses to shed light on their achievements." -Charles (Terry) Zug, author of Turners and Burners: The Folk Potters of North Carolina" (text and image courtesy of

The Bayou Painters: South Alabama's Art Colony (1946-1953); Mobile Museum of Art, January 13-March 26, 2006., By Mobile Museum of Art. Published by Mobile Museum of Art, 2006. ISBN 1893174069, 9781893174061. 40 pages. "Catalog of an exhibition of art by "the bayou painters", an art colony in the Mobile/Bayou laBatre/Coden area which florished from 1946 to 1953 but continued in diminished form for a number of years after."

Art of the New South: Women Artists of Birmingham 1890 - 1950. 99 pages. Birmingham Historical Society (2004). ISBN-10: 0943994292. ISBN-13: 978-094399429. Product Description: "Published in conjunction with the exhibition: "Art of the New South: Women Artists in Birmingham 1890 - 1950," organized by the Birmingham Historical Society at the Birmingham Public Library in late 2004. This oversized heavily-illustrated book contains information about and paintings by Birmingham-area artists Caroline Lovell, Carrie Montgomery, Carrie Hill, Lucille Douglass, Alice Edith Rumph, Della Dyer, Hannah Eliot, and Willie McLaughlin." text courtesy of

Gee's Bend: The Women and Their Quilts, by John Beardsley, William Arnett), Paul Arnett, Jane Livingston. 432 pages. Tinwood Books (August 2002). ISBN-10: 0971910405. ISBN-13: 978-0971910409. Product Description: "Since the 19th century, the women of Gee's Bend in southern Alabama have created stunning, vibrant quilts. Beautifully illustrated with 350 color illustrations, 30 black-and-white illustrations, and charts, Gee's Bend to Rehoboth is being·released in conjunction with a national exhibition tour including The Museum of Fine Art, Houston, and the Whitney Museum of American Art." text courtesy of

Alabama Art, by Nall. 128 pages. Publisher: Black Belt Press (July 2000). ISBN-10: 1880216590. ISBN-13: 978-1880216590. "Nall's retrospective to native artists from Alabama is a must for anyone interested in the work of this great artist. Although not currently as well known as the artist he studied under, Salvatore Dali, he is fast becoming a modern day Dali in his own right. Although focusing on artists from Alabama, Nall's personal contribution, in the form of an artistic interpretation of each artist is an example of his mastery. I cannot recommend the book or the artist highly enough." quoted from Amazon Customer Reviews. November 4, 2002. By Sam Long

Alabama Impact: Contemporary Artists with Alabama Ties, By Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile Museum of Art, Paul W. Richelson, Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville Museum of Art. Published by Huntsville Museum of Art, 1995. ISBN 1885820011, 9781885820013. 84 pages. "Catalog for an exhibition held March 11-May 7, 1995 at the Mobile Museum of Art, and July 2-September 3, 1995 at the Huntsville Museum of Art."

Made in Alabama: A State Legacy, By E. Bryding Adams, Leah Rawls Atkins. Published by Birmingham Museum of Art, 1995. ISBN 0931394406, 9780931394409. 392 pages

Revelations: Alabama's Visionary Folk Artists, by Kathy Kemp, Keith Boyer. 224 pages. Crane Hill Publishers; 1st edition (June 1994). ISBN-10: 1881548074. ISBN-13: 978-1881548072

In View of Home: Alabama Landscape Photographs : [exhibition] April 23-June 1, 1989, Huntsville Museum of Art., By Huntsville Museum of Art. Published by Huntsville Museum of Art, 1989

The Traditional Pottery of Alabama: Essays by E. Henry Willett and Joey Brackner, By E. Henry Willett, Joey Brackner, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Alabama State Council on the Arts and Humanities, National Endowment for the Arts. Published by Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1983. ISBN 0892800208, 9780892800209. 70 pages. "An exhibition jointly sponsored by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and the Alabama State Council on the Arts and Humanities, with the assistance of the Folk Arts Program of the National Endowment for the Arts."

Black Belt to Hill Country: Alabama Quilts from the Robert and Helen Cargo Collection ; Birmingham Museum of Art, Dec. 13, 1981-Jan. 24, 1982; Montgomery Museum of Art, Sept. 16-Nov. 14, 1982, By Robert Cargo, Birmingham, Ala. Museum of Art, Montgomery Museum of Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, Ala.), Helen Cargo, Ala Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham, Robert and Helen Cargo, Montgomery Museum of Art, Montgomery, Ala. Museum of Fine Arts. Published by Birmingham Museum of Art?, 1982. 92 pages

Alabama's Aboriginal Rock Art, by Bart Henson. 37 pages. Publisher: Alabama Historical Commission (1979). ASIN: B0006XD7WE. (text courtesy of

Historic Sites of Jefferson County, Alabama, By Carolyn Green Satterfield, Jefferson County Historical Commission (Ala.), Published by Printed by the Gray Printing Co., 1976. 166 pages

The Art of the Alabama Indians, by Robert O Mellown. 43 pages, Publisher: University of Alabama Art Gallery (1976). ASIN: B0006CP1DI (text courtesy of

Alabama artists; A paper presented to the Ionian Club, February 6, 1958. Comp. from scrap books and records of the Alabama Art League, by Mildred Abrams Hill

Note: Google Books and searches for books were made by TFAO in December, 2008.



Vicki L. Ingham: "Women Artists of Birmingham, 1890-1950" American Art Review September-October 2004 (Volume XVI, Number 5)

Carolyn Shafer Murphy: "The Blount Corporate Art Collection" American Art Review May-June 1999 (Volume XI, Number 3)

Lynn Barstis Williams: "South Alabama's Art Colony" American Art Review January-February 2006 (Volume XVIII, Number 1)


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