Meeting Folk Artist Mose Tolliver

Mose Tchair - 4

(I visited Mose Tolliver at his home in 2005.)

I'm heading to Tallahassee, FL, this week to interview an artist for an upcoming feature on the great Southern folk artists you need to buy now.

(I would tell ya more about it, but I don't want to scoop the story.  Keep your eye on the mag…) 

I'm a folk art enthusiast, investing any extra cash into pieces I admire and the artists who create them. The trip reminds me of my first folk art encounter: A trip to see Mose Tolliver, one of the most noted artists of the contemporary folk art genre… 

My friend David had been to Mose T's house in Montgomery, AL, a few times, so he scheduled our road trip.  We stopped at a gas station as we got into town and picked up a half case of Bud Light, a gift that David said would ingratiate us to the artist.  We visited with Mose in his living room for a while.  He was confined to his recliner, but he grew increasingly animated as he told stories, especially about recent trips to see his girlfriend. 

We asked about his work, so one of his daughters led us to a bedroom.  She pulled several black garbage bags from underneath the bed.  They were full of her dad's dusty paintings on scrap pieces of plywood.


(I bought 'Wild Cat' and 'Tree of Life' from Mose T) 

David and I were fortunate to have that experience then, because Mose passed away a year later at the age of 86.  The trip sparked my still-vibrant interest in folk art.  

(Listen to NPR's 1995 interview with Mose T and his daughter Annie.  Their portion starts around 5:15.)

Who is your favorite folk artist?  Any interesting artist encounters?


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