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Untitled (Exciting Event: House with Figures)

Folk and Self-Taught Art

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Untitled (Exciting Event: House with Figures)

Artwork Details


Bill Traylor
American, 1854–1949


ca. 1939–1942


Poster paint and pencil on cardboard

Accession #



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Currently Not on View


Bustling with commotion, this drawing exemplifies Traylor’s skill at storytelling through revealing gestures. The work’s negative space takes on a character of its own, intensifying the tension of the scene, which is drawn together in a relationship of curving lines. The arcs interact subtly within each figure and correlate the figures with one another. The artist commonly drew attention to important elements of his works through adjustments in scale. Here the man on the roof seems to provide the key to the action. Only the little man smoking inside seems unaffected by the pandemonium encircling the building.


T. Marshall Hahn Collection