Jimmy Lee Sudduth (1910 - 2007)
Jimmy Lee Sudduth painted familiar scenes of rural Alabama using a unique concoction of mud, sugar, natural pigments, and paint. He claimed to have discovered thirty-six colors of mud in Alabama. As a child, Sudduth and his mother, a medicine woman, would walk through the woods. He remembered making his first drawing at age three, a log house that he drew on a tree using charcoal and mud. With just enough schooling to write his name, Sudduth worked primarily as a gardener. His clients included the director of the Fayette Art Museum who, amazed when he discovered Sudduth’s artistic talents, mounted an exhibition of his work. By the late 1960s, Sudduth began devoting most of his time to painting. Sudduth’s subjects include log cabins, public buildings, Indian women, trains, self-portraits, and his dog Toto. In 1976 Sudduth received the honor of being one of two Alabama artists invited to the Smithsonian Institution’s bicentennial Festival of American Folklife. His work has been shown in major museum folk art exhibitions including ones at the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama and the DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Jimmy Lee Sudduth died at age 97, on Sunday, September 2, 2007.