Brunk Auctions
Live Auction

American & Western Auction | March 8, 2024

Fri, Mar 8, 2024 10:00AM EST
Lot 695

Mose Tolliver

Estimate: $200 - $400

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $25
$100 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $200
$3,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$20,000 $2,000
$50,000 $5,000
$100,000 $10,000

(American/Alabama, 1918-2006)

Three Works: Matchbox Basket, signed "MOSET", paint and glitter on cardboard, matchboxes, and matchsticks, 11-3/4 x 9-3/8 x 7-1/4 in.; Red Animal, unsigned, paint on board, 11 x 12-1/2 in.; Watermelon, unsigned, paint on board, 7-3/4 x 14-1/8 in.

Provenance: By descent in the Gassenheimer family; Property from a Private Collector

Note: A remembrance from the consignor: I was a photographer for Reuters in Washington, DC when I met Pat Gallagher who was a videographer for cable TV. A mutual passion was folk art and together we embarked on a trip through the southeast to meet the prominent folk artists of the day. From this came a trove of black and white and color photographs, oral histories, video of artists at work, and a trailer for the documentary we’d started. Best of all we’re the friendships made and art purchased during this magical time.

Mose T lived in a small house in a Montgomery neighborhood located very near Alabama State University and less than five minutes from the steps of the Alabama State Capitol. There was a sofa on the front porch, usually occupied by a young relative acting as a doorman/guard for Mose. He knew us as friends and more often than not, we talked and laughed for a while and said our goodbyes without talking much about art, but sometimes he would show us new work and we would make a purchase. 

Because of an injury sustained during a job, Mose was somewhat disabled and painted from his bed. His bedroom was his studio, office, and parlor so guests were welcomed. It was a happy home with his fantastical creatures, his titillating women, and strong cross art all hung together. Visiting Mose in his home was truly a fun, head spinning experience. He loved to laugh, was always joking and much of the time it was naughty. Especially when we showed up with his favorites- fried chicken and beer- to enjoy together.


general wear to wood, likely as made, some abrasions and loss to paint, surface dirt/accretion

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By descent in the Gassenheimer family; Property from a Private Collector