Redkettle Art and Collectibles
James Harold Jennings (1931-1999) - Biography

James Harold Jennings is extremely well known and famous for his unique perspective and use of bright colors. Some of his common themes were mystical angels, ferris wheels, and "Tough girls" who beat up men.

Jennings lived in rural North Carolina, dropping out of school after fifth grade. He was taught at home by his school-teacher mother and lived with her in Pinnacle, North Carolina until her death in 1974. He was an avid reader of encyclopedias, Popular Mechanics issues, and National Geographic. He worked a number of jobs from night watchman, farm hand, to movie projectionist, but left that
job in 1968 after his nerves "went bust".

After his mother's death, he moved out of the house and lived in three joined school buses. He lived without electricity and cut out his complex assemblages with a coping saw.

Jennings had an uncanny mastery of artistic elements from many cultures that were symbolically engaging and lighthearted. His work is in numerous permanent collections including The American Folk Art Museum and The American Visionary Art Museum of America.

He committed suicide in April 20, 1999, apparently because of concern about his physical health and the doom and gloom prophesied for the new millennia and Y2K.

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