Johnnie Lee Gray
(1941 - 2000)
Johnnie Lee Gray was active/lived in South Carolina. Johnnie Gray is known for Black American rural genre.
Biography Johnnie Lee Gray
Eyewitness to an Era
By MATTHEW GUREWITSCH
A self-taught African-American painter from Spartanburg, S.C., Johnnie Lee
Gray (1941-2000) would give his pictures to friends or sell them locally for
prices in the low three figures, often over the objections of his wife, Shirley Sims Gray, the family breadwinner. When necessity dictated, he would take work as a carpenter or at the local textile mill. But in his mind and hers, Gray was always an artist. Never a failure.
In his lifetime, the sum total of Gray's exposure was at county fairs and
one group show in Atlanta. Yet this September, just two years after Gray's
death at age 58, his work was hanging in the Russell Senate Offic
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