This exhibition was curated by William A. Fagaly, former director at the New Orleans Art Museum, and arranged by the American Folk Art Museum in New York. “Tools of Her Ministry: The Art of Sister Gertrude Morgan” was the first major museum retrospective devoted to Gertrude Morgan (1900-1980), an African-American painter who today is considered one of the most important self-taught artists of our time.
Morgan painted on absolutely anything that was handy – paper, wood, Styrofoam trays, window shades – mixing acrylics, poster paint, watercolors, crayons, and ball-point pen. Then she set up camp to show her work in the heart of the New Orleans’ French Quarter and performed creative and passionate public sermons in a deep chant-like voice, self-accompanied by guitar or tambourine, for local passers-by who grew to cherish her charismatic persona. She was a familiar figure in town and her ubiquitous status as a beloved visionary is expertly documented in this exhibition with biographical photographs and more than 100 paintings, drawings, and objects.
The Sara Lee Foundation is the Lead Chicago Sponsor of the exhibition. The exhibit opened at the American Folk Art Museum in New York in May 2004, and resided at the New Orleans Museum of Art from October 2004 through January 2005 before coming to Intuit .