Ike, ca. 1982, by Sam Doyle

Ike, ca. 1982, by Sam Doyle

Ike, 1982
Sam Doyle (American, 1906–1985)
Acrylic on metal siding; 44 x 58 1/2 inches
Gibbes Museum of Art, Gift of the artist (1983.002.0002)

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3 Responses to “Ike, ca. 1982, by Sam Doyle”

  1. on 29 Jul 2013 at 12:48 pmGordon W. Bailey

    The correct title of Sam Doyle’s painting is “Ike.”

    The words “St Helena’s” and “Plow Man,” as well as, the “Ace” playing card are modifiers and refer to Ike’s island home, his activity, and his expertise.

    “Ge Nuel” (sic Gee Mule) further clarifies the depicted action and informs the viewer that Ike is exhorting his mules to “Gee” or “Go Right Mule.”

    When interpreting the late Mr. Doyle’s artworks, it is important to remember that the artist was a proud member of St. Helena Island’s unique Gullah community and spoke a creolized dialect. The painted words which further personalized the artist’s portraits were often phonetically spelled.

    Gordon W. Bailey
    July 29, 2013


  2. on 29 Jul 2013 at 4:02 pmSara Arnold

    Mr. Bailey,
    Thank you for providing additional information to this post on Sam Doyle. The paintings “Three Wise Men” and “General Ike” were generously given to the Gibbes in 1983 by the artist himself. As you know, in 1982, his artwork was included in the groundbreaking exhibition “Black Folk Art in America: 1930 – 1980” organized by the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Since that time his work has been included in numerous exhibitions and public collections including the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Ga., the American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY, and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington D.C. A celebration of Sam Doyle’s life and work will be held this fall at ARTworks in Beaufort, SC.
    Sara Arnold, curator of collections

  3. on 05 Nov 2015 at 8:47 amTimothy Kemp

    Amazing that I knew this man growing up, not personally but from playing baseball across from his house when I was a young boy. We always noticed the paintings as we got close to the makeshift baseball field across from his house on Wallace Plantation. I had a very uninformed perspective of his art as just being junk. Well that junk is now worth a WHOLE LOT! I have a former student/athlete of mine now that dabbles with folk art. I am going to turn him on to Mr. Sam Doyle’s work. God bless Mr. Sam

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