From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Hawkins, William L.

(born: 1895  -  died: 1990) 

Hawkins was born on a farm near Lexington, KY, and reared by his maternal grandmother, Mary Scudder. As a young man, he was a trapper and horse trainer, but when his girlfriend became pregnant he was sent to live in Ohio. He began to paint when he was 80 years old, using materials that came from junk piles and throwaway material at construction sites in his artwork. Hawkins also collected photographs that he used in his work. One of his signature techniques was to paint a frame around his work that included his name and the place and date of his birth. For more see Souls Grown Deep: African American vernacular art of the South, vol. 1, by P. Arnett and W. Arnett.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Souls grown deep : African American vernacular art of the South

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Hawkins, William L.,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 27, 2022,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:14