Unk Sam (1 of 12)
Painted on corrugated, galvanized sheet iron.
Provenance: William Arnett
32″w x 36″h x 1.75″d
Sam Doyle painted his life and memories of St. Helena Island, Beaufort County, South Carolina with compassionate devotion. As a youngster, Doyle received encouragement for his artistry at the Island’s Penn School, which had been originally established by Quaker missionaries to provide educational and vocational training to the newly-liberated slaves. Using house paint, Doyle created vibrant portraits of figures and themes, both real and folkloric, on cast-off pieces of corrugated metal and plywood enhanced by words and abbreviated phrases. He created tributes to local well-known members of his community such as “First Black Midwife”, “Penn Drummer” and “Rocking Mary” and made depictions of root doctors like Dr. Crow and Dr. Buz as well as the mythic spirits, Old Hag, Devil Spirit and Jack O’Lantern. Doyle also revered and depicted famous politicians and musicians such as Reverend Martin Luther King, Abraham Lincoln, Ray Charles and Elvis Presley.