Always God, Always Coca Cola — Missionary Mary Proctor

“Missionary” Mary Proctor

June 11, 1960 —
Tallahassee, FL
Paintings, sculptures and environment

Already suffering from health problems, Mary Proctor’s depression became more pronounced after losing her beloved grandmother, aunt, and uncle in a tragic house fire. She was running an odds-and-ends store in rural north Florida when God told her that “the door is the way.” An old door was lying in her yard, so she took some blue and white car paint and started to paint.

She began to feel better and hasn’t stopped painting since. Her American Folk Art Museum and Gallery in Tallahassee is a yard filled with painted doors bearing the likenesses of Martin Luther King and Sojourner Truth, along with joyful homages to her grandmother, angels, presidents, and even Coca-Cola.

(Photos © Copyright 2006-2013 Kelly Ludwig, all rights reserved. Location photos courtesy of Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations)

Bibliography & Links:

“Detour Art—Outsider, Folk Art, and Visionary Folk Art Environments Coast to Coast, Art and Photographs from the Collection of Kelly Ludwig” by Kelly Ludwig, Kansas City Star Books, 2007.

On DVD – Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations, “Peaches, Beaches, Gators and Grits,” KCPT, Kansas City Public Television, 2005.

“American Folk Art, A Regional Reference” by Kristin G. Congdon and Kara Kelley Hallmark, ABC-CLIO Publishers, California, 2012.

“Self Taught, Outsider, and Folk Art—A guide to American Artists, Locations and Resources” by Betty-Carol Sellen with Cynthia J. Johnson, McFarland & Company, 2000.

“Souls Grown Deep: African American Vernacular Art of the South”, Vol 2, Arnett, et al, 2001.

“Testimony: Vernacular Art of the African-American South: the Ronald and June Shelp Collection”, Cronwill, Danto, Gaither, Gundaker and McWillie, 2001.

“Extraordinary Interpretations: Florida’s Self-taught Artists” by Gary Monroe, 2003

“American Self-Taught Art: An Illustrated Analysis of 20th Century Artists and Trends with 1,319 Capsule Biographies” by Florence Laffal and Julius Laffal, 2003.

“Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations Coast to Coast Travel-o-Pedia” by Randy Mason, et. al., Kansas City Star Books, 2009. “Missionary Mary Proctor”

American Folk: “Mary Proctor”

Missionary Mary Proctor’s website

The Outsider’s Art