Happy 170th birthday to Henri Rousseau. This self-taught painter was largely unrecognized during his lifetime and spent his days as a toll and tax collector. Many of his paintings show rich and beautiful jungle scenes, although he never saw a jungle himself—he was inspired by illustrated books and visits to botanical gardens. It just goes to show that you never know who around you might be a great artist, so the next time you see a toll worker, give them an extra smile, because they might just be the next Rousseau!
“The Merry Jesters,” 1906, by Henri Rousseau
Elwood Graham James (1890 - 1960), was a deaf artist who made eccentric sculptural birdhouses in Mingo County, West Virginia, primarily during the 1930’s - 1940’s. He would construct them from things he picked up while assisting a traveling roofer, who used tin to repair roofs of local houses.
Madge Gill. London. 1884-1961. In children’s home until 19. Blinded in one eye during childbirth (stillbirth). Drew and painted, often in the dark. Seances. Showed at East End Academy but gained recognition at Hayward Gallery’s outsider show in 1979 in her 90’s. tate.org.uk
Steeple Cock (Coq de clocher)
Iron with inlaid copper eyes
The Barnes Foundation