Unusual and dramatic work created by the late Lucy Robinson, African-American b. 1921, Baltimore, MD. Ms. Johnson was self-taught artistically, and she invented a form of sculptural art in which crepe paper was twisted tightly into cordage and applied to bottles, cardboard, tree branches and found objects. The work here dates to the mid 1970s. The "God is Love" globe is 1.5 feet tall, and measures some 50 inches around at the widest point. Much of her work incorporates text, abstracted human figures and design elements of her own creation. A good share of the pieces are religious. The artist passed away in 2012, and a relative asked a Baltimore woman to administer the collection. At the time of the artist's death, an exhibition was being planned, but to this day her work is shown publicly only in offices of Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. These are works the artist gifted to the staff.
I acquired the works shown (top) from the Phoenix, Arizona based Nowhere to Land shop in Tucson, AZ. The bulk of the remaining work is cataloged and stored, but at the time of this post several pieces are being offered by the seller HERE. Among the available works is the enormous "Zodiac Horoscope" globe shown below:
Biographical material below was taken from the Obituary website with minor changes. It is the most complete information on the artist:
Lucy Ellen Robinson was born in Baltimore, Maryland on June 22, 1921 and departed gracefully on March 4, 2012. She was the daughter of the late Arthur Raison and Alice Beal Robinson (nee Lomax). She was ninety years old. Lucy was affectionately known as "Sister" to her family, friends and everyone who knew her. born in Baltimore, Maryland in the old "South Baltimore," she grew up learning to cook and clean before she could even read. Lucy was the oldest of four children; the lat Alexander Raison, the late Jeanette Robinson, and the late Flora Mae Claiborne. Lucy attended the Baltimore City Public School System but had to leave while in high school to help out at home. this however, did not deter her from her dreams. Lucy worked several jobs while growing up but her passion was art and music. she recorded several songs in the 1070's including a Christmas son song titled, "Daddy, Please come home for Christmas." She also had numerous copyrighted poems and books. Among them were, "The Witch from Creeky Hollow," "The Roach from No Man's Land," "Yes there Is a Better way," "Christ is coming Back Again," and "If I Could end This War Today." In the early 70's while recuperating from a surgical procedure, Lucy developed her own unique form of art. She was able to create beautiful pieces of colorful crafts from recycled materials such as rocks, seashells. empty soda and glass table tops, water-cooler containers and fish tanks to name a few. She would take different shades of crepe paper, transform it into a rope like material by hand, and use her wonderful imagination to turn it into something spectacular. She taught her amazing art form at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School's Summer Arts Program until 1977. Lucy's work has been sold at numerous craft shows and flea markets throughput Maryland, but she was so generous that she gave her art away as gifts. Over the lat thirty-five years she has made and given gifts to too many people to count. Among those recipients were President and Mrs. Barack Obama, governor Martin O'Malley, the late William Donald Schafer, Oprah Winfrey, Ray Lewis, and Dr. Benjamin Carson. Her work adorns the shelves and desk of numerous offices of the Johns Hopkins Hospital, the Afro-American Newspaper, City Hall, and Margaret Brent Elementary School. At the time of her death, she was patiently awaiting a possible exhibition of her work at the Reginald f. Lewis Museum. Lucy continued to create her magnificent and beautiful crafts until her untimely death.
Group of five original works by Lucy Robinson circa 1975 "God is Love Globe" and four vessels. Collection Jim Linderman