Work from W.W. Law Art Collection on display in City Hall
Works by Chicago artist William S. Carter (1909-1996) from the W. W. Law Art Collection are now on exhibit in the City Hall Rotunda, from now until July 1, 2016. The exhibition is free and open to the public. City Hall, located at 2 E. Bay Street, is open from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday–Friday.
Carter was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1909, where as a child he spent hours in the St. Louis Art Museum. In 1930, he moved to Chicago to study at the Art Institute of Chicago, but soon found himself wrapped up in the Great Depression. He found work through the WPA’s art programs, and was among several prominent African American artists featured in the 1940 American Negro Exposition, in which he won first award in water color for his work Study in Gray. That same year, he was featured in the Art Institute of Chicago’s 19th International Exhibition of Watercolors, along with Picasso, Chagall, and Dali. Carter moved easily between artistic styles and mediums, and his work focused on the beauty around him, including landscapes and portraiture. Carter’s work has been exhibited in Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Washington, DC, and at the King-Tisdell Cottage in Savannah. His work can be found in the public collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, the DuSable Museum, and the South Side Community Art Center. He has been profiled in Art Digest, Art News, and Who Was Who in American Art.
W. Law (1923-2002) was a prominent Civil Rights leader, local historian, historic preservationist and community leader in Savannah, Georgia. After a forty-year career as a mail-carrier for the United States Postal Service and twenty-six years as President of the Savannah Chapter of the NAACP, Law turned his focus and efforts to preserving Savannah’s African American community through its stories, landmarks, and art. He established the Savannah-Yamacraw Branch of the Association for the Study of Afro-American Life and History (ASALH), the King-Tisdell Cottage Museum, Beach Institute African American Cultural Center, the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, and the Negro Heritage Trail Tour. Through the King-Tisdell Cottage and the Beach Institute, W. W. Law featured the work of African American artists. His personal collection of original artwork and prints (including those featured in this exhibit) reflects these efforts, as well as the personal friendships that came about from them.
The W. W. Law Art Collection is part of a larger body of material representing the life and work of W. W. Law, including manuscript and audiovisual materials, books, artifacts and photographs. As portions of these collections are curated, they are being opened to the public for research, with finding aids and inventories provided online through the City’s website at www.savannahga.gov/collections.