Greg Ridley: Master of Copper Tooling
Greg Ridley yearned to express drama in his artwork. In the manner of Hale Woodruff, he sought to achieve it through the manipulation of color…A “must-read.”
- About the Book
Greg Ridley yearned to express drama in his artwork. In the manner of Hale Woodruff, he sought to achieve it through the manipulation of color...A "must-read."
Like Aaron Douglas, he experimented with composition, using distortion and abstraction. But it was only when Greg changed his medium, opting for metal instead of canvas, that he achieved the height of dramatic expression in his art.
Color. Composition. Medium. Hale Woodruff. Aaron Douglas. Greg Ridley.
- Greg’s Copper Panels
View four (4) of Greg's Panels by clicking on the above thumbnail images under the main image. These copper panels (80 in total / size: 3 ft x 4 ft) hang in the 3rd floor of the Grand Reading Room of Nashville’s Main Public Library on Church Street, and they all depict some aspect of Nashville’s history.
Second panel image: This particular panel depicts the Battle of Nashville.
Third panel image: This particular panel honours black artisans and features: Frances E. Thompson, TSU Art Teacher; Zora Neale Hurston, Poet; Arna Bontemps, Poet/Statesman; Charles Spurgeon Johnson, first Negro President of Fisk University; Greg's mentor: Aaron Douglas, artist; William Edmondson, Painter.
- Author 1
About Kate Ridley Jackson
Willie Kate Ridley Jackson was Greg’s most ardent supporter and the historian who preserved the record of his accomplishments throughout his career. Both Greg (born in 1925) and his sister Willie Kate (born in 1926) were students of the renowned Aaron Douglas, the painter associated with the Harlem Renaissance. Greg majored in art, and Kate, who was interested in watercolor, majored in history and minored in art at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. She later earned a master’s degree in library service from Atlanta University. Kate became the first black librarian with professional library credentials to work at the main public library in downtown Toledo. Throughout her professional career, she also set up libraries in private schools and for various organizations. But Kate never lost her love for art nor her keen interest in Greg's journey. Kate shared her zeal for art and her desire to codify the oral and written documentation of Greg's art with her neice, Constance Ridley Smith, musician, educator and writer.
- Author 2
About Constance Ridley Smith
Constance, alumnae of Tennessee State University in Nashville (B.S.,1979 and MPA, 1985) studied Honors Art Appreciation with Greg Ridley in 1977. Upon his death in 2004, she happened upon a copy of his master's thesis and other memorabilia Greg had given to his sister over the years. The desire to write a brochure mushroomed into four years of research, recording oral history, preserving artifacts, compiling documentation and writing this, the official record of Greg Ridley's artistic journey.
- Study Guide, Press, and Tour
Take a casual drive and stroll around Nashville, TN, viewing the public artistry of Greg Ridley » Coming soon!
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