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Biographical info: Courtesy of Judy A. Saslow Gallery

BILL TRAYLOR (1854—1949)
BIOGRAPHY

1854
Born on George Hartwell Traylor’s plantation in Benton, Alabama, where he stayed on through emancipation until the mid-1930s.

c. 1935
Came to Montgomery where he worked briefly at a shoe factory, and then later collected a state pension.

1939
Took up a post on a Lawrence Street sidewalk where he began to draw on scraps of cardboard. He then met Charles Shannon, a young painter, who offered him drawing materials and financial support.

1940
First exhibition of Traylor’s drawings at New South in Montgomery, organized by Charles Shannon.

1941
First exhibition of Traylor’s work in New York City at the Fieldston School.

1942
Traylor traveled north to live with his children until 1946. Leg amputated due to gangrene.

1946
“He Lost 10,000 Years”, a story on Traylor by Allen Rankin, is published in Collier’s.

1949 Traylor dies at a nursing home in Montgomery.

Bill Traylor Biography picture at the Outsider Folk Art Gallery photo of Bill Traylor, c. 1939-41

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