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William "Bill" Traylor (April 1, 1854(?) - October 23, 1949) was a
self-taught artist born into slavery on a plantation near Benton,
in Lowndes County, Alabama. By 1939, he had moved to Montgomery,
where he slept in the back room of a funeral home and in a
shoemaker's shop. During the day, he sat on the sidewalk and drew
images of the people he saw on the street and remembered scenes
from life on the farm, hanging his works on the fence behind him.
That year, he met Charles Shannon, a painter, who, with his friends
from the New South, brought Traylor art supplies and bought his
drawings for nominal sums.
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