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Thornton Dial Shares His “Hard Truths” at NOMA

Let us, just for a moment, speak of Thornton Dial. Born in the rural South just prior to the Great Depression, worked in the fields, built train cars in Birmingham after that. Survived Jim Crow, survived punishing oppression and segregation, raised a family despite having nearly no education, and always made art. And now the man is a Horatio Alger story come to life after all that, because in the ’80s, after sixty years, he began to finally attract some small measure of notice as a practitioner of outsider art, in the tradition of Grandma Moses, Henry Darger, and that guy that built “The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millennium General Assembly.” (James Hampton. I just like writing out the title.) The New Orleans Museum of Art’s got a gigantic new exhibition of Dial’s work up now called Hard Truths, and see it if you can, because Thornton Dial is a hero. (Doug MacCash, New Orleans Times-Picayune)

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