Landscape with Cypress Tree
7″H x 5″W
Oil painting on board
Landscape with Cypress Tree an Oil Painting on Board by William Hawkins
Oil on Board
William Hawkins was a self-taught African-American artist known for his expressive paintings of Ohio, newspaper clippings, and animals. “There’s nothing to do but sit around and get better,” he once said of painting. Born William Lawrence Hawkins on July 27, 1895, in Union City, KY, he grew up on a rural farm, learning to draw by copying illustrations from auction posters and calendars. At the age of 21, Hawkins moved to Columbus, OH, where he worked odd jobs and began producing paintings with house paint on found boards and wood moldings. Despite having made paintings since the early 1930s, the artist’s work wasn’t publicly exhibited until 1982, when his friend Lee Garrett entered one of Hawkins’s paintings into the Ohio State Fair. Over the next eight years, he has a string of exhibitions and continued to work until his death in Dayton, OH in 1990. Today the artist’s works are held in the collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C., the American Museum of Folk Art in New York, and the Columbus Museum of Art in Ohio, among others.