Marguerite Durham stands right alongside her famous brother Lorenzo Scott as an accomplished self-taught artist. While there are similarities - - Ms. Durham and Mr. Scott are deeply Christian and are close friends - - there are differences in style, background and themes. The oils on canvas produced by Marguerite Durham have an identity of their own and enough glorious characteristics to make them very attractive to a growing number of admirers and folk art collectors.

Dr. Jane Silverman knows folk art as well as anyone I know, perhaps much better than some of the best, and has put together an amazing private collection in her Chicago home and office. She met Marguerite Durham at the fabulous “Dog Days Folk Art Festival,” in Scottdale, Georgia three years ago and became a big fan. “Ms. Durham’s paintings,” Dr. Silverman said, “are gentle and comforting. I look at them and feel the mighty presence of things and places I haven’t been but would love to go to and experience for myself. Everything she paints feels very feminine and that is always important to me.”

While her brother has been painting for decades now, Marguerite Durham has been painting for about 15 years. “I started working with clay and discovered that I really wanted to paint the pictures that were in my mind,” she told me during a photography session in her comfortable Decatur, Georgia home. “I like children and family themes, and paintings based on the Bible are my favorite.”

Dignified and somewhat shy, Marguerite Durham seems surprised at the admiration her paintings receive. “I just paint what I see in my mind and heart and I’m happy when that is appreciated by others.” As she gets more exposure, Ms. Durham is certain to have an even larger audience of folk art enthusiasts and collectors.

There are elements of style and theme that give her paintings individuality and distinctiveness. Most notably, she is genuinely self-taught and has preserved remarkably the African tradition of visual storytelling, employing soft images that depict all people, whether in a contemporary setting or from Bible stories, as African. Lorenzo Scott does this as well, but side-by-side you can see differences.

A Marguerite Durham oil painting adds immeasurably to a growing folk art collection. Her paintings illuminate a home with spiritual blessings. No one else paints like her. There’s so much work on her canvas which is a testimony to the stories and memories she wants to share with the world.

The Old and New Testament occupy prominent places on the canvases of Marguerite Durham. African-American folk artists from the South have historically invoked everything from the Creation, to The Last Supper to The Second Coming. In this tradition, Ms. Durham excels. Her paintings are both reverential and provocative. Such are the elements of art from within, art with growing value and art with everlasting power.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Marguerite Durham is a favorite artist at this publication. Collectors and galleries will want to contact her and we are glad to help. Just send an email to editors@docsnews.com and we’ll make the connection for you, or feel free to contact Marguerite Durham at 404.244.0630 or by mail at 2637 Cavalier Drive, Decatur, Georgia 30034.

 

 

 

 

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