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Example of Mose T. Work
Picture of Mose Tolliver Taken At Home in AL, 2002

Mose Tolliver (b. circa 1925, near Pintala, Alabama - d. October 30, 2006, Montgomery, Alabama) was an African-American artist who worked in a primitivist style.

During the late 1960s, boredom and long hours of idle time spawned his interest in art. Mose regularly worked with "pure house paint" on plywood; creating whimsical and sometimes erotic pictures of animals, humans, and flora. A "Quail Bird" may glide over a cotton field, or a spread-leg "Diana" may be straddled over "An Exercise Rack Bicycle. Self portraits with crutches are a repeated image, as are watermelons.

Mose was dyslexic, which may have encouraged his artistic efforts by limiting his reading and writing abilities. He would often turn his paintings upside-down and paint the picture of perhaps an animal and landscape positioned from various directions. The composition of Toliver titles are wildly divergent; "Smoke Charlies", "Scopper Bugs" or "Jick Jack Suzy Satisfying her own Self".

Tolliver's work has been exhibited at the Philadelphia College of Art, Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and the Cocoran Gallery of Art. In 1993, a retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of American Folk Art in New York City.

Mose Tolliver died on October 30, 2006 at a hospital in Montgomery, Alabama from pneumonia, aged 82. Numerous works by Tolliver (or those completed by family members but purported to be those of Mose) still remain available on the open market via wholesale art houses.

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