Birthing The Baby is an outstanding example of Clementine Hunter's ability to telescope time of the events around the room in childbirth with a midwife at home. In the center the newborn baby has had its first bath, while a young girl peeks through the window to witness this special event. A self-taught contemporary American artist, she gained international acclaim with a career of painting starting in her 50's and ending with her death in 1988 at the age of 101. Her works can be seen in the Smithsonian Institution, The American Folk Art Museum, and many other museums and private collections around the world.
...Hunter was noted for painting on anything, particularly discarded items such as window shades, jugs, bottles, and gourds and cardboard boxes. Her paintings rarely run larger than 18 by 24 inches.
Her work has generally been considered uneven, with her work from the 1940s to 1960 considered to be the best. It is admired for its palette and expressive force. She also produced a few quilts with themes similar to those expressed in her paintings.
Though she became a respected artist and is today considered a folk art legend, Hunter spent her entire life in (or near) poverty. In the 1940s, she sold her paintings for as little as a quarter. By the 1970s, she was charging hundreds of dollars for a painting. By the time of her death, her work was being sold by dealers for thousands of dollars. Hunter rarely titled her works, but when asked a title, would describe the subject of the painting.
autodidactbirthdogfemale artistfolk artnaïve artpeople of colorself taught