Drunkard's Devil


Dilmus Hall (American, 1900–1987)


ca. 1960s


Concrete, brick, metal, glass, enamel paint, and mixed media


72 x 38 x 32 inches


Gift of Jane and Bert Hunecke

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This figure was part of a sculptural group that dominated Hall’s yard show in Athens, Georgia, in the 1960s. The artist, a self-proclaimed minister, created this tableau as a cautionary tale. One figure (which no longer exists) sprawled unconscious on a bench; the second (also in the High’s collection) sat intoxicated, raising his bottle again. This third and central figure was the greatest of Hall’s large-scale works: a fearsome, long-tailed devil that loomed over the second drinker, clutching a rock with which to beat the drinker if he stopped his self-destructive activity. According to Hall, “Satan, he’s makin’ that old boy go on drinkin’. You do what he says, or he’s gonna [sic] whop you!”

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