Eldridge Bagley: Son of the Soil, Soul of an Artist by Susan Tyler Hitchcock
An exhibition in print of more than 40 paintings, with commentary, by Southside Virginia artist Eldridge Bagley, a third-generation tobacco farmer who taught himself to paint. His paintings evoke rural Virginia in the days gone by, their sentimentality often offset by a subtle ironic twist.
“To suggest that Bagley is a folk artist provides no more insight into his work than to categorize him simply as self-taught. His work is multitextured and highly original. If any context is especially appropriate, it may well be the tradition of the regionalist painters of the American mid-century, whose concerns for the struggles of ordinary people, the special light and color of the rural landscape, and recording of ways that are deeply embedded in the fabric of everyday life have illumined the heartland of America. “With a perceptive eye, an authentic voice, and the soul of a storyteller, Eldridge Bagley does exactly that. I am delighted that through the pages of this splendid book, the work of an American artist will be introduced to a new and wider audience.”
--from the Foreword by Gerard C. Wertkin, Director, Museum of American Folk Art
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