Thornton Dial, Sr. was born in Emmel, Alabama in 1928. Over a period of thirty years, he worked onand-off for the Pullman Standard Company, a company known for manufacturing metal railroad cars. Dial lives in Bessemer, Alabama where he is the patriarch of a clan of artists and an accomplished painter and sculptor.
All of Dial’s work emerges from a tireless mining of his own experience and of the events of our time. His use of materials – fencing, cow bones, corn stalks, scrap metal, pottery shards, birdbaths, clothing, stuffed animals, rope, carpet, and unusual combinations of paints and stains – renders his work by turns raw and lyrical.
- Revelations: Art from the African American South, de Young, Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, June 3 2017.
Arnett, William, and Paul Arnett, eds. Souls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art from the South, Volume 1. Atlanta, Georgia: Tinwood Books in association with Schomburg Center for Research in Black Cultures, New York, 2000.
Self-Taught Artists of the 20th Century: An American Anthology. New York: Museum of American Folk Art, in association with Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 1998.
- American Folk Art Museum, New-York (United States)
- High Museum of Art, Atlanta (United States)
- Treger Saint Silvestre collection, Porto (Portugal)
- Smithsonian Museum Of American Art, Washington (United States)
- The Metropolitan Museum of Art , New York (United States)
- Fine arts museums, San Francisco (United States)