Exterior view of a house, Leslie County, Kentucky, 1949

Exterior view of a house, Leslie County, Kentucky, 1949

There is a high probability that this is an early sign made by Harrison Mayes and photographed by Eliot Elisofon for the feature “The Fruitful Mountaineers” in the TIME Magazine, Dec. 1949. The photo doesn’t appear in the magazine, but in a blog post, that is not publicly available any more (archived version). Time Magazine,…

Two Faux Signs?

Two Faux Signs?

I found these two photos that resemble Harrison Mayes’ work, but I’m not 100% certain. His typography has undoubtedly influenced them. Photographer Don Dudenbostel posted some more photos and some background information on this photography forum.

Mayes Portrait by Eleanor Dickinson
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Mayes Portrait by Eleanor Dickinson

Scholar and artist Eleanor Dickinson is responsible for getting Henry Harrison Mayes work into the Library of Congress. She conducted countless interviews with the Mayes, brought Rev. Howard Finster and Brother Mayes together, and documented the culture of the mountain folks. The book REVIVAL! contains Dickinson’s beautiful line-drawings, photos of religious services, artifacts, and stories…

Finster, Mayes and me at the Library of Congress
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Finster, Mayes and me at the Library of Congress

Since I discovered that there are documents that prove that Folk Art Visionary Howard Finster and Roadside Evangelist Harrison Mayes met and exchanged ideas, I was determined to find out what these two old geezers had to tell each other. Also I wanted to hear Mayes voice, how he talked, and maybe there was even…

Three new metal signs in SE Georgia added to the map

Three new metal signs in SE Georgia added to the map

A kind person from the internet tipped me off with three location of extant Henry Harrison Mayes “GET RIGHT WITH GOD” signs. All three are heart-shaped metal signs with red-green letters. This is the first time I’ve seen those in the wild (means lately photographed by Google street view). All three seem to be from…

Sister O. M. Terrell – I’m Going To That City
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Sister O. M. Terrell – I’m Going To That City

Photo of one of Harrison Mayes metal crosses by Peter B. Lowry, Georgia 1970 used as cover artwork for a compilation with rare post-war gospel This album contains a representative collection of post-war gospel recorded between 1947 and 1953. The post-war period through to the mid-50s is generally regarded as the finest for gospel music…

Faux Mayes Cross in Kingston/Rockwood, TN

Faux Mayes Cross in Kingston/Rockwood, TN

A rather unusual, more primitive concrete marker on Hwy 80 in Rockwood, TN near Kingston, TN. The cross misses the typical lettering and message, instead it appears rough and with a different wording than Mayes on each side. One side says JESUS CHRIST IS LORD, the other is barely readable but states …BUT THE BLOOD……

Daniel Bachman (Link)
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Daniel Bachman (Link)

Daniel Bachman is an artist, musician, and independent scholar primarily interested in the folk histories of Virginia. Bachman has released 9 full length records since 2011, and toured extensively internationally and throughout the US, garnering wide acclaim. Daniel Bachman Over the last 10+ years, Daniel Bachman was and still is a huge inspiration for me. The…

An exhibit of materials gathered by Eleanor Dickinson.

An exhibit of materials gathered by Eleanor Dickinson.

Eleanor Dickinson was very close to the Mayes, visited them, recorded them, and she connected Harrison Mayes with the Smithsonian and got some of his work into their collection. Audio and video recordings as well as drawings and photos by Eleanor Dickinson is archived at the Smithsonian. https://blogs.loc.gov/folklife/2016/12/eleanor-dickinson-finding-aid/ Search results for Photo, Print, Drawing, Eleanor…

Prepare to Meet God, Barn, LaFollette, TN (non-extant)

Prepare to Meet God, Barn, LaFollette, TN (non-extant)

We have documented a lot of signs of various sizes and kinds. Many pictures are in our research materials. But the only large barn-size sign that we had actually seen was located in LaFollette, Tennessee. This particular sign no longer exists. There is one barn sign that I am aware of, and it is located in and…

The Cross Bench – Ford’s Woods Park, Middlesboro, KY

The Cross Bench – Ford’s Woods Park, Middlesboro, KY

From “A Coal Miner’s Simple Message” The cross bench is a very special sign that lots of people have enjoyed. This particular one-of-a-kind sign (bench) weighs two thousand pounds and is built in the shape of a cross. This shows the cross bench as it was first cast at Harrison’s homeplace. Later, it was moved to downtown. Presently, it is placed at…

Marker in the National Geographic Magazine, 1971

Marker in the National Geographic Magazine, 1971

The concrete heart at Totz, KY, appeared in an article in the National Geographic Magazine. In a demanding land that offers few rewards, religion provides sustaining comfort. This concrete sign, built to withstand the years—and, paradox­ically, the bullets that regularly pock it—issues its prediction near the town of Cumberland in Harlan County.Similar messages adorn barns…