Thomas Samuel Doyle
|Died||1985 (aged 78–79)|
|Known for||Painting, Out Door Art Gallery|
Thomas "Sam" Doyle (1906–1985) was an African-American artist from Saint Helena Island, South Carolina. His colorful paintings on sheet metal and wood recorded the history and people of St. Helena’s Gullah community.
Sam Doyle was born in 1906 near Frogmore, on St. Helena Island. He attended elementary school at the Penn School, a school for freed African-Americans founded by Unitarians and Quakers from Pennsylvania. It was at the Penn School that Doyle's teachers first recognized his artistic talent and they encouraged him to pursue his practice. Doyle dropped out of the Penn school in the ninth grade and found employment variously as a store clerk, porter, groundskeeper and finally as a laundry worker.
Doyle continued his art practice in the 1940s, showing his paintings on sheet metal at first in his yard that he called his "Outdoor World-Wide-International Gallery". Doyle would use discarded materials such as metal roofing, plywood, and house paint for his art, exhibiting a rudimentary, but unique art style. After his retirement he took up his art practice more fully in 1968.
Doyle was heavily influence by the Gullah culture of St. Helena Island, known for its high levels of African retention. Doyle documented the strengths, weaknesses, trials, and blunders of his fellow St. Helena residents through painting their portraits. Doyle also documented popular figures of the African American community. Legends like Ray Charles, Martin Luther King Jr, and Jackie Robinson were portrayed in Doyle's collection.
Doyle's paintings and sculptures are held in the permanent collections of American Folk Art Museum, the High Museum of Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Gibbes Museum of Art and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. and Penn Center (Penn School on St. Helena Island).
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- Cardinal, Roger; Ala.), Birmingham Museum of Art (Birmingham; Kogan, Lee; Larsen, Susan C.; Patterson, Tom; Perry, Regenia (24 June 1995). Pictured in My Mind: Contemporary American Self-taught Art from the Collection of Kurt Gitter and Alice Rae Yelen. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9780878058778 – via Google Books.
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- Crown, Carol; Rivers, Cheryl; Wilson, Charles Reagan (2013-06-03). The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Volume 23: Folk Art. ISBN 9781469607993.
- Gordon, Bailey. "Sam Doyle". Outside Art Fair.
- "ABE. KANE". collection.folkartmuseum.org/.
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- Maresca, Frank; Ricco, Roger; Rexer, Lyle (26 October 1993). American self-taught: paintings and drawings by outsider artists. Knopf. ISBN 9780394582122 – via Google Books.
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- "Ike, ca. 1982, by Sam Doyle".
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- "Works by Sam Doyle from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection on view at LACMA".