(10 Total References)
Outsider Artist Joseph Yoakum
Whitney Halstead of the Art Institute of Chicago was the greatest promoter of Yoakum's work during his lifetime.
He believed that his story was "more invention than reality... in part myth, Yoakum's life as he would have wished to have lived it.
(Depasse 2001, p. 3)
This may partially owe to a ...
This may partially owe to a collective and deserved respect for revered art historian Whitney Halstead's unpublished manuscript about Yoakum's art and life . Many writers have used it, but its intellectual and analytical merits have largely been bypassed.
As the current caretaker of Halstead's collection (drawings, sketchbooks, ephemera, slides, manuscript and notes, bequeathed to The Art Institute of Chicago
in 1979), I was inspired by Intuit's invitation to organize this exhibit to re-read the Halstead manuscript for a fresh perspective on this body of work.
What it reminded me of, first and foremost, was the social milieu for collecting Yoakum's drawings by Halstead
and his students and artist friends, including Ray Yoshida, Jim Nutt, Gladys Nilsson, Roger Brown, Lori Gunn, Karl Wirsum, Phil Hanson, Christina Ramberg and others.
Halstead insisted that, despite his frequent contact with the artist and years of studying his drawings, his best estimation of Yoakum's evolution was speculative at best.
helpfully identified five distinct periods in Yoakum's development. 
identified this phase as occurring in drawings dated 1964 and 1965, during which time the author hypothesizes that Yoakum's invention accelerated and "he
may have hit his
stride of [making] one a day, sometimes more.
3 Whitney Halstead, "Joseph Yoakum," unpublished manuscript, c. 1977, in Whitney Halstead Papers, Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.
7 Probably dating from 1962 or 1963, the work was drawn with graphite and blue ballpoint pen on cream wove paper, 216 x 273 mm, Bequest of Whitney Halstead
, op. cit., pp.
For further thoughts about Yoakum's transition from watercolor to dry colored media also see Halstead
, p. 39.
A humorous but apt note in Halstead
's manuscript observes, "By 1967-68 he
no longer used such paper . . . 'it was very bad.' He
kept it in a stack in one of his
storage shelves and referred to it as his
'spanish paper.' " Halstead, op. cit., p. 29.
16 Among the ephemera collected by Whitney Halstead
are two curious cover sheets with the following inscriptions: "These are my copyrights not to be sold at no time 2/14-67&68" and "1968-69 Don't mix with other dates.
observed that he
would use these terms interchangeably, but in this case used copyrights to imply that they were his
originals, from which he
My years at The Art Institute of Chicago
have allowed my close contact with Joseph Yoakum's art and Whitney Halstead's
still important written study of the work.
Over the years, many artists have shared with me their memories and admiration of Yoakum and Halstead
-- Roger Brown, Ted Halkin, Phil Hanson, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Mike Noland, Christina Ramberg, Lisa Stone and Ray Yoshida.
This exhibition of Joseph Yoakum's visionary landscapes is curated by Mark Pascale, caretaker of Whitney Halstead's collection bequeathed to the Art Institute of Chicago in 1979.
Halstead was an early collector and advocate for Yoakum's work and his collection includes a number of exceptional works by Yoakum.
Outsider Artist Joseph Yoakum
Whitney Halstead of the Art Institute of Chicago was the greatest promoter of Yoakum's work during his lifetime.He believed that his story was "more invention than reality ... in part myth, Yoakum's life as he would have wished to have lived it."(Depasse 2001, p. 3)His official records state that he was born in Missouri, but Yoakum always claimed to have been born in 1888 in Arizona as a Navajo Indian. (Proud of his invented heritage, he used to pronounce "Navajo" as "Na-va-JOE.") His father was a Cherokee Indian and his mother a former slave of Cherokee, French-American, and African-American descent, but their son was always most fascinated by his Native American heritage.When he was nine, Yoakum left home to join the Great Wallace Circus.He traveled the country, and even the world, as a billposter with five different circuses including Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and the Ringling Brothers.He returned to Missouri in 1908 and devoted himself to a family, having his first son with Myrtle Julian in 1909 and marrying her in 1910.He was drafted into the army in 1918, where he worked repairing roads and railroads as a member of the 805th Pioneer Infantry.
Brand informed his artist friends (including ...
Brand informed his artist friends (including Whitney Halstead) about Yoakum and encouraged them to visit the Whole coffee shop.
Halstead, an artist and instructor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, became the greatest promoter of Yoakum's work during his lifetime.
believed that his
story was "more invention than reality... in part myth, Yoakum's life as he
would have wished to have lived it."
A group of students including Roger Brown, Gladys Nillson, Jim Nutt, and Barbara Rossi, and teachers at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago
, including Ray Yoshida and Whitney Halstead
, took an interest in promoting his work.
SAIC professors Ray Yoshida and ...
SAIC professors Ray Yoshida and Whitney Halstead were largely responsible for generating interest within the art community, encouraging colleagues and students (including Roger Brown) to visit nearby self-taught artists and collect their work.