%C2%A9 Georgia Speller %2F Artists Rights Society %28ARS%29%2C New York

House up on the Hill off the Highway, 1987

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After meeting in the early sixties, Henry and Georgia Speller married in 1979. They spent 10 years together, lovingly comparing illustrations on their porch. As a couple they balanced each other, and as artists their respective practices grounded their union. By using basic, accessible materials, they collectively convey a youthful simplicity underscored by a deep social critique.

Through bold washes of tempera and contrasting color schemes, the Spellers manifested on paper their hopes, dreams, frustrations, and criticisms of the classist and racist structures that impoverished their community. Henry’s Steamboat Katie Adam and Georgia’s House up on the Hill off the Highway exemplify material class privilege in southern society—a way out, always in view, never in reach. In Two Cousins, Georgia explores beauty standards and individual stylistic choices. Pig Eating Breakfast and Two Cousins refer more and less overtly to eroticism and sexual pressures under the white patriarchal gaze in American society.

“We sit on the porch in the summer drawing pictures and making music. I made me up a song once. Georgie had a round piece of wood, made a drum and beat on it. One night, her mama’s spirit come to her, told her she’d be coming. She told me, ‘Mama come to me in a dream. I won’t be out here next summer.” - Henry Speller

House up on the Hill off the Highway
Artist Life
1931 - 1988
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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© Georgia Speller / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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