|An African-American carver, Ulysses Davis was born in Fitzgerald, Georgia. He lived in Savannah, GA. He was a barber who carved wood with a pocket knife between customers. Davis carved over 200 works. He created mythical creatures, American presidents and African tribal leaders. He exhibited at Kiah in the Telfair Museum in Savannah in 1953. In 1978 several of his sculptures where shown at the library of Congress as part of the exhibit “Missing Pieces and Sketches of South Georgia Folk Life”. Ulysses Davis received the Georgia Governor’s Award for the Arts for carving.
Exhibition History: 2009 “The Treasures of Ulysses Davis, Sculpture from a Savannah Barbershop,” American Folk Art Museum, NYC 2008-2009 “The Treasures of Ulysses Davis, Sculpture from a Savannah Barbershop,” High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA 2002 “American Anthem: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum,” American Folk Art Museum, NYC 2001 “Contemporary Folk Art: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum” 1996 “Ulysses Davis, American Folk Artist,” Beach Institute, (King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation) Savannah, GA 1996 “Rings: Five Passions in World Art,” (during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games) High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA 1996 “Looking Back: Art in Savannah 1900-1960,” Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences, Savannah, GA 1995 “Dust Tracks on a Road: Four Southern Self-Taught Artists,” High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA 1995 “The Vision of Ulysses Davis: “Humor and Popular Culture,” Beach Institute, (King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation) Savannah, GA 1995 “The Vision of Ulysses Davis: History: Leaders, Patriots and Sovereigns,” Beach Institute, (King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation) Savannah, GA 1994 “The Vision of Ulysses Davis: Faith, Piety and Love,” Beach Institute, (King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation) Savannah, GA 1994 “The Vision of Ulysses Davis: People, Humans, Animals and Plants,” Beach Institute, (King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation) Savannah, GA 1993 “Passionate Visions of the American South,” New Orleans Museum of Art, traveled to Berkeley; San Diego; Washington, DC; and Raleigh 1991 “Spirits: Selections from the Geoffrey Holder and Carmen de Lavallade,” organized by the Katonah Museum of Art; traveled to Chicago; St. Paul; Portland, Maine; Boise; Gainesville, FL; Little Rock; Dayton; Milwaukee; Fort Wayne; and Scottsdale, AZ 1990 “Different Roots, Common Fruits,” Gallery at City market, Savannah, GA 1988 “Outside the Mainstream: Folk Art in Our Time,” High Museum of Art, Atlanta 1988 Georgia Governor’s Award in the Arts 1986 “Revelations: Visionary Content in the Work of Southern Self-Trained Artists,” Altanta College of Art 1986 “Black Art/ists Five/from the South,” curated by Robert Hicklin; traveled to Nashville; Little Rock; Charlotte; and Macon 1985 Woodruff Library, Atlanta University Center 1985 “Woodcarvings of American Presidents, King Tisdell Cottage Museum 1982 “Discovering Black Africa in Coastal Georgia,” King Tisdell Cottage Museum, Savannah, GA (first solo exhibition) 1982 “Black Folk Art in America: 1930–1980,” Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; traveled to Louisville; Brooklyn; Los Angeles; Houston, Birmingham; and Chicago 1978 “Missing Pieces: Georgia Folk Art 1770-1976,” Library of Congress, Washington, DC 1976 “Missing Pieces: Georgia Folk Art 1770-1976,” Atlanta History Center
Literature: (1) “Black Folk Art” by Jane Livingston and John Beardsley, published 1982 by University Press of Mississippi, 186 pgs., many color illustrations (2) “Passionate Visions” by Alice Rae Yellen, published by New Orleans Museum of Art, University Press of Mississippi, 351 pgs., many color illustrations. (3) “Self Taught, Outsider and Folk Art” by Betty-Carol Sellen, published by McFarland and Co. Inc. 2000, 326 pgs. (4) “Soul’s Grown Deep African American Vernacular Art” by William Arnett and William S. Arnett, published by Tinwood Books, Atlanta, GA, 2000, 568 pgs., many color illustrations (5) “The Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts” by John Michael Vlach, published by Brown Thrasher Books, the University of Georgia Press, 1990, 175 pgs., many illustrations. (6) “Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century American Folk Art and Artists” by Chuck and Jan Rosenak, published by Abbeville Press, 1990, 416 pgs., many color illustrations. (7) ”Essays in Folk Art”, by Dr. A. Everette James, published by Professional Press, Chapel Hill, NC, 2000, 230 pgs. (8) “Georgia Folk Art”, A Joint Exhibition of Gainesville College and The Quinlan Art Center, 15 pgs., some illustrations.