The Daniel E. Offutt III Charitable Trust has awarded Thrown Stone Theatre Company a grant to commission a new work about folk painter Ammi Phillips.
“I first learned about Ammi Phillips on ‘Searching For The Lost Limner,’ an episode of Davis Dunavin’s ‘Off The Path’ podcast,” said co-artistic director Jonathan Winn. “He lived on the early American frontier, working as a traveling portrait painter throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York. But he rarely signed his own work — the podcast explored the fascinating story of how his legacy as one of the most prolific folk painters of his time was uncovered. Just as fascinating was the world he lived in, bookended by the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. His life coincided with the gradual abolition of slavery in Connecticut between 1784 and 1848. It is difficult to look at history through the lens of contemporary values, but the life and career of Ammi Phillips invites us to do just that. It is a reflection on living through great change.”