Jimmy Lee Sudduth

Jimmy Lee Sudduth was born March 10, 1910 in Caines Ridge, Alabama. At the age of 97, he passed away, leaving a legacy of folk art behind him.

His mother was a "medicine doctor" and Jimmy Lee loved to accompany her out to collect herbs, roots and berries for her "cures." He recalled painting on trees as early as three years of age. Jimmy Lee dug up mud from under a cane grinding and noticed that the mud adhered to the trees longer even through rainstorms. He had what he wanted.

Jimmy Lee began mixing his mud with sugar and came up with a medium he calls "sweet mud." A few early paintings were colored with pigments of grass, berry juice, or plants, but he soon combined paint with the mud when his paintings became in demand.

Today, Jimmy Lee is one of the most recognized southern folk artists. His art can be found in the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art, the American Museum of Folk Art in New York and in galleries around the world. Most recently, Jimmy Lee has been a major focus of the book, Souls Grown Deep, African American Vernacular Art of the South, Volume One.

Jimmy Lee Sudduth Folk Art

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