Frank Calloway was born sometime between 1896 and 1913 in Montgomery, Alabama. He spent his life as a laborer, working mostly on farms, logging and building roads. He claims to have begun drawing as a small child, although, he explains, his working hours as a laborer prevented him from making art. Diagnosed as schizophrenic in 1952, Calloway was committed to Bryce Hospital and the Alabama Department of Mental Health in Tuscaloosa. He currently resides in the Alice M. Kidd Nursing Facility in Tuscaloosa.
Calloway’s imagery is primarily agrarian and depicts the Old South as he remembers it. He draws on butcher paper using crayon, pen, and marker. The scrolls are either 24 or 36 inches high, and anywhere from 8 feet to over 60 feet long. It is unclear whether he intends to make one artwork, or if he is embedding many separate artworks on one sheet. When asked about the content of his work he replied, simply, "I do my best.”
1896-1912 (birth date unknown), Montgomery, AL
Lives and works at Alice M. Kidd Nursing Facility, Tuscaloosa, AL
Frank Calloway. Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York
Frank Calloway: Pageants from the Old South. Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York
Kentuck Museum, Northport, AL
In Through the Out Door. Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York
The Marriage of Science, Art and Philosophy. The American Visionary Art Museum, Baltimore, MD
Consumer Art Exhibition. Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, AL
Kley, Elisabeth. “Frank Calloway at Andrew Edlin.” artnet, March 2011.
Smith, Roberta. “Frank Calloway: ‘Pageants from the Old South.” The New York Times, May 8, 2009.
Karlins, N.F. “Out Is In.” artnet, January 2009.
“Artist Turns 112, Draws on Experience,” Associated Press, July 21, 2008.