The son of an Alabama sharecropper and farm overseer, Mose Ernest Tolliver was the youngest of seven sons born into the Ike Tolliver family of twelve children. Living in Montgomery, married, and raising his own family, Mose Tolliver began painting after a work accident left him handicapped in the mid-1960s. An early admirer who brought his work to public attention was Mitchell Kahan, former curator at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts. In 1981, the museum mounted a one-man exhibition of Tolliver’s work. He then was featured in Black Folk Art in America 1930-1980, the important national exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery in 1983. He has since become one of the most enduring and widely collected self-taught artists of his generation and painted actively until 2002.
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