Due to its small size, this collection is arranged into one series. Series 1: Tom Ray Letters From Henry Bridgewater, 1992-1999 (0.2 Linear Feet: Box 1)
Access Note / Rights:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Tom Ray letters from Henry Bridgewater measures 0.2 linear feet and consists of forty-five letters to Tom Ray from Henry Bridgewater dating from 1992-1999, written during his incarceration at the Louisiana State Penitentiary. Bridgewater writes about his works of art, in particular, lamps he created that he would send to Ray for him to trade and sell to other folk art collectors.
Tom Ray letters from Henry Bridgewater, 1992-1999. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Henry Bridgewater (1925-2001) was a sculptor and outsider artist in Angola, Louisiana known for his wood-carved lamps of iconic figures and celebrities including cowboys, Wyatt Earp, Dolly Parton, Madonna, and Tina Turner. Tom Ray was a patron and informal art dealer for Bridgewater after befriending him in the early 1990s, while Bridgewater served two live sentences at the Lousiana State Penitentiary, Angola.
The collection was donated in 2019 by Tom Ray.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001