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Folk and Self-Taught Art

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Artwork Details


Sam Doyle
American, 1906–1985


ca. 1982–1985


House paint on tin

Accession #



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Currently Not on View


Near the road outside his house, Sam Doyle created the St. Helena Out Door Art Gallery, which he filled with paintings honoring the achievements of both local and nationally prominent African Americans, local characters, and the creatures that populated local legends.

Simple and powerful, Doyle’s untitled depiction of the Ascension of Christ is one of his most convincing paintings of religious subjects. Doyle shows the scene from a high vantage point, conveying scale through size and simultaneously showing Christ both nearer to the viewer and more important than his distant followers on the ground. The painting’s fresh colors communicate its subject clearly and immediately.


Purchase with funds from Alfred Austell Thornton in memory of Leila Austell Thornton and Albert Edward Thornton, Sr., and Sarah Miller Venable and William Hoyt Venable, and through the generosity of Gordon W. Bailey