When Bill Traylor was around 12 years old, emancipation came to the Alabama plantation on which he was born and to which he was enslaved, liberating him. It would be decades, however, before Traylor left the plantation and discovered himself as an artist in the city of Montgomery. By the 1940s, Traylor, old, penniless and unable to work, took to Monroe Avenue and began drawing the new, upwardly mobile lives of the African-Americans that populated the street. He drew with stunningly evocative simplicity, depicting modern lifestyles with rural symbols from his past. This virtual exhibition presents Traylor’s life and work. —C.J.F.
High Museum of Art 1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309 Get Directions »