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Classification: Painting

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Image of St. Helena's First Professional Carpenter

Sam Doyle
American, 1906–1985

St. Helena's First Professional Carpenter

about 1975–1980

Object Type: Painting
Dimensions:
46 in. x 25 3/4 in. x 1 1/8 in. (116.84 cm x 65.41 cm x 2.86 cm)
Medium and Support: Acrylic on tin
Accession Number: 2012.0014.0007

Credit Line: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts Association Purchase


Doyle was the son of farm workers, born in 1906 on St. Helena Island near Beaufort, South Carolina. For generations, this barrier island was home primarily to blacks—slaves and slave descendents—who had worked the plantations there.

Working as a laborer for most of his life, he also devoted his time in his later years to making, primarily paintings on cast off tin roofing or other sheets of metal. His subjects were the locals of the St. Helena community. Some were famous (or notorious) such as Doctor Buzzard (a practitioner of voodoo) and others were simple working people like the worker depicted in "St. Helena's First Professional Carpenter".

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