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Taft Richardson Jr.

Taft Richardson Jr.

American artist
Taft Richardson Jr.
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro American artist
Was Artist
From United States of America
Type Arts
Gender male
Birth 2 September 1943
Death 30 November 2008 (aged 65 years)
Star sign Virgo
The details (from wikipedia)

Biography

Taft Richardson (September 2, 1943 – November 30, 2008) was an African-American folk artist who sculptured art images out of dried animal bones. Taft enjoyed creating sculptured images from bones like spiders, snakes and maps. He made an image of the continent of Africa out of tiny pieces bone fragments. Taft often said that he did not just create art for just viewing but he also for spiritual and religious reasons. People often say after viewing his art pieces they get a feeling of inspiration. One of his famous pieces once stood at 82 inches tall. It looked like a giant snake dressed in armor. He called it the King James version in the bible, "Abaddon".
For more than 40 years during Richardson's life, he created art that amazed his audiences and captured their imagination.

Early life (1943–72)

Taft Richardson Jr. was born on September 2, 1943 in Lumberton, Florida, to Taft Richardson Sr and Mary Lee Turner Richardson. When he was about five years old his parents moved him and his other siblings to Sulfur Springs, a district in the city of Tampa, Florida. At the age of seven, he was baptized at Spring Hill Missionary Baptist Church. He attended his early school years in a church owned by his relatives. He later attended and graduated from a segregated all-black high school. He married his first wife at the age of 18. It was said that Taft one day was sitting down at the dinner table eating a steak and some chicken wings and when he had finished, he looked down at his plate and saw the bones laying. He pick up the bones and made a different designs out of them on the table top next to his plate. He transformed them into different images. He subsequently began collecting more bones from different animals and made them into art sculptures.

In 1967, Taft left his family in Florida and moved to Washington DC to pursue his art career. He got his first job working at General Hospital. He later got a position at Howard University Medical Hospital with the help of one of good friends Walter Lattermore (father of R&B Singer Kenny Lattimore). At Howard University he worked and studied Nuclear Medicine. Taft, then a young man in his twenties, spent a great deal of his leisure time in the night life at bars and night clubs on U St in NW DC. He mingled with artists, politicians, activists and popular celebrities visiting town. It was in this popular area of Washington DC that Taft began to display his art work to the public, on busy city street corners and in neighborhood parks.

National (1971–2008)

In the early 1970s Taft took his art creation on tour. He traveled around the U.S from east to west doing art galleries from New York City to the state of California. Everywhere he went people were amazed to see the sculptures he made out of animal bones. He appeared regularly on television shows and he has been written about in dozens of newspaper articles around the world. In the Tampa Tribune newspaper the whole LifeStyle section was dedicated to him. He received numerous awards and recognition for his achievements.

In 2007 Taft became ill. He continued working on his last piece of art until his death in November 2008. He considered himself an activist. Taft said, "one of my best inspirational person was a famous artist named Paul Goodnight known for his 1980 painting, "Endangered Species". Taft said This painting always touches me deep in my heart.

The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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