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Artist Name:

Bill Traylor

Nationality & Life Dates:

American, 1854–1949


Untitled [Exciting Event: House with Figures]


ca. 1939-1942


Poster paint and pencil on cardboard


Image/Plate: 13 1/2 x 13 7/8in. (34.3 x 35.2cm) Framed/Mounted: 21 3/4 x 21 3/4 x 1 1/2in. (55.2 x 55.2 x 3.8cm)

Credit Line:

High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, T. Marshall Hahn Collection

Accession Number:


Bustling with commotion, this drawing exemplifies Traylor’s skill at storytelling through revealing gestures. Traylor’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.

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