Savannah museum awarded grant for folk art exhibit

folk art exhibit

William O. Golding (American, 1874-1943), ‘Merchant Ship,’ unsigned, oil on canvas laid on board in an artist-made frame. Sold for $950 in 2016. Slotin Folk Art image

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) – A Savannah museum has been awarded a $15,000 grant for an exhibit of works by an African-American folk artist.

The National Endowment for the Arts grant will help the Telfair Museums fund an exhibit of maritime drawings by William O. Golding. The artist was kidnapped by mariners along the city’s riverfront in 1882 when he was an 8-year-old boy.

Golding spent nearly five decades working on ships at sea. He returned to Savannah in the 1930s, and spent years as a patient at the city’s U.S. Marine Hospital, where Golding was treated for chronic bronchitis.

Golding produced a series of pencil and crayon drawings inspired by ports he had visited during his years at sea. The museum has acquired 21 of Golding’s drawings and plans an exhibit in 2022.

“This NEA grant underlines the national significance of the Golding acquisition and the exhibition in development,” Ben Simons, the Telfair’s executive director and CEO, said in a news release.

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