Sunday, July 20, 2008

Accumulated Information on Frank Calloway, Artist 12/26/2008**Updated**

Frank Calloway

Frank Calloway was born July 2, 1896, and taught himself to draw. Diagnosed as schizophrenic in 1952 and institutionalized in various institutions in Alabama since then, he is currently living in the Alice M. Kidd Nursing Facility in Tuscaloosa. At 112 years old, his is a unique view of Southern America. Most of Mr. Calloway's art is of agrarian themes. His medium is ballpoint pen, marker and crayon on butcher paper often 30 feet long. Mr. Calloway puts in a full day of work considering his art as his job. He appears almost savant with his penchant for writing lines of figures and reciting multiplication tables.

Although he's always drawn, he really took it seriously when he took an art class in the 1980s.

He'll be be showing in an exhibition during the Fall at The American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore where 18 of his scrolls will appear this October. Recently selling for around $50.00 each, his drawings are expected to fetch thousands after the show. See more about Mr. Calloway in the news release HERE.

I've turned the web upside down and have come up dry. I'll be posting links to his art as they become available. **

Mr. Calloway got serious about his art at about 86 years of age. He's getting in his stride at 112 years. Now. I don't want to ever hear an artist say that they're too old to start!!

**UPDATE: As promised, I am adding information I've found on Mr. Calloway's art, where it can be found, and his life and will continue doing so if you'd like to check back with me. Please let me know if you've found additional information on this amazing man.

This is an image of one of Mr. Calloway's works, entitled "Old Man".

A link to a photo gallery of Mr. Calloway HERE.

And some information from versions of the N.Y. Times article:

Quote: "Last year, after a trip to Alabama’s Gulf Coast, Calloway decided to draw boats. But the boats are big old riverboats propelled by paddlewheels, not the modern ones he’d actually seen.
Several years ago, when people started showing interest in buying Calloway’s art, Moncrief-Craig ( director of Alice M. Kidd Nursing Facility where Mr. Calloway lives) decided he needed a guardian. Since 2006, Zondra Taylor Hutto has filled that role. The attorney is the Tuscaloosa County guardian, conservator and administrator for several residents, including Calloway.(I will post info when I can find it)
Calloway used to give away some of his creations or sell them for $50, but Moncrief-Craig and Hutto have stopped dealing the work since an appraiser said they could be worth thousands. They hope to have more of an idea how much the art should go for after the Baltimore show.
Calloway has few expenses that aren’t covered by Medicaid, so any profits will go into a special needs trust in his name so he won’t lose his benefits. The money can be used for items such as art supplies that aren’t covered by the government. When he dies, the remaining money will go to the state or to the state Medicaid agency, which has provided his care all these years.
Plans are for Calloway to attend the opening of the Baltimore show. It will be his first trip on an airplane and likely the first time he’s left Alabama. Hutto said she looks forward to sharing his work with a wider audience.

"His art overcomes boundaries," she said. "People may say, ‘Well, he’s a folk artist. I don’t like folk art.’ But if you ever meet him, there is such life in what he creates, and you can’t look at one of his paintings without seeing that smile, without seeing that gentle man." (End quote)


New today, another image of a Frank Calloway drawing, above. Also a discussion on whether Calloway can truly be 112 on a genealogy site HERE.

August 03, 2008 Updated

I have a new image of Calloway's artwork and will also be posting additional information. This all would have been listed sooner, but my computer burped in the middle of posting and I lost all my work even though Blogger said it was saved as a draft.

I believe this work is called "Pink Cow".

August 10, 2008: I found these images of Calloway's:

Jus found a new slide show produced by the Associated Press HERE. If I can find the code, I'll embed it here as well.

Keep checking back occaisionally to see what I've gathered.

August 17th,2008: Michael D. Edens gave me permission to show these two sketches of Frank Calloway inspired by this post. I believe these will be available as limited edition giclees.

Click HERE to see Edens' other work.
If there are any other links with work on or about Mr. Frank, or of Mr. Frank as subject, I'd love to link to them as a clearing house spot for any and all info.

October 28, 2008 Updated****

I have scoured the web and have not been able to find much additional information on Frank Calloway's show at the American Visionary Museum in Baltimore other than these links below. If anyone knows of a show catalog, invitations or cards with any of his work, or information about sales of his art, I'd appreciate adding it. This post seems to have become a central spot with everything out there about him and I'm getting some international visitors. Please note that I have a translation widget at the top left of the page for your convienience.

**Deep Fried Kudzu has a post on the AVM show, which was called "The Marriage of Art, Science, & Philosophy". Calloway was one of 50 artists at the show

***"The Marriage of Art, Science, & Philosophy" Show runs through April 28, 2009 and the gallery hours are HERE

***There are blurbs and news articles about Frank Calloway and the show HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE,

***There's a great article and wonderful VIDEO here by the Baltimore Sun.

***Blurb and photo from the Baltimore Sun:

AVAM honored and welcomed 112-year old artist Frank Calloway from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Calloway used crayon, pen and marker to draw on butcher paper stretching hundreds of feet long at times. His work is embedded with mathematical systems and rhythmic patterns such as the 18 times tables. He came to Baltimore on his first airplane ride for a welcome ceremony and the opening party Oct. 3. he seemed thrilled to see his work on display. Calloway was met and greeted by NAACP chairman Jullian Bond on Friday, the morning before the opening party.

****The Independent World featured this STORY.

***There's a great first person account of Mr. Calloway at the show at The Real Muck.

*** Reuters carried the following article 112 Year Old Self0Taught Artist to Be Featured in National Exhibition

*** Artist Mark Barry has these photographs from the show in Baltimore which he's generously allowed me to use here from his Flickr Photostream. Hang around and look at Mark's other work while you're there. If you are interested in buying a set of photos or a giclee of them, contact Mark directly.

Update 12/26/2008: Keeping with my promise to put any and all links and news about Mr. Calloway here on the Deepwater Journal, I have a few small additions.

Wikipedia now has a stub on Mr. Calloway which should be added to.

"Do the job right", video of Mr. Calloway at work.

A New Still of Mr. Calloway with his materials.

And here you can find links to Frank Calloways show at the AVAM with some links. Dated October 13, 2008. Nothing much new. Mark Barry already gave me permission to use his photos of the exhibit.

September 04, 2009: I want to share with you an account of an excellent first person encounter with wonderful insight. David Ettlin is a semi-retired writer with the Baltimore Sun. I won't rib him about the semi part of retired in his bio bits with the George Carlin factionale of "either it got a bone or it ain't". The Real Muck is worthy of a leisurely perusal. Good reads throughout. But in keeping with my promise to update anything Frank Calloway, I hope you'll visit and comment.

Funny this comment from David comes today: I was just thinking of calling the home and asking after Mr. Calloway's health and art.


Martha Marshall said...


queenlint1 said...

Ain't he a beauty?


Cousin Deb said...

What a treasure this man is!! And I thought my recent find ~ a lady who turned 104 this past June 13th at our local hospital. Bless both their hearts! Thanx, Cuz, for sharing this precious life with me. I want his art, if you can help me find something of his. What I wouldn't give to sit and talk with him. (sigh) The stories he could tell.

mde art said...

Hi Dina,
I enjoyed this post about Frank, and was struck by the detail in one of the photos of him. I drew a couple portraits and posted them on my art blog with a link back to your site. It was an inspiring exercise, and I just wanted to say thanks for sharing the original story.


queenlint1 said...


They are fabulous! I'm adding you to the post of him!


David Ettlin said...

Thanks for posting the link to my blog, The Real Muck, in your following of Frank Calloway. I noticed the blog had a visitor this weekend from your link! A shame that the current exhibition is ending soon.

queenlint1 said...

David! Just renewed the link to your post on Calloway! I'm thrilled with the article you wrote on your blog and mystified that it didn't come up sooner as I searched for threads of this genuine soul!

Thanks so much for the comment. I hope that the two of us can keep him in front of the public eye!


Anonymous said...

I am writing to let all know thy I have found over 200 of mr calloways drawings.... Rolled up enormous sheets of butcher paper... Some signed and some not... And I would like to share them with the world. I am going to have them appraised... Feel free to contact me.