William Louis-Dreyfus had a passion for self-taught artists.
The small drawing on the top is by Bill Traylor, an illiterate and uneducated African American man who was born into slavery. For 70 years he worked on an Alabama plantation. Beginning when he was 84, he sat outside a pool hall and drew on scraps of cardboard. Over the three years before he died, Traylor produced more than 1200 works, some of which now hang in America's most prominent art museums.
The lower work is by James Castle, a deaf man from Idaho who could not read or write. He lived his life in his family home, near where his parents had a general store and a post office. Castle taught himself to draw with salvaged paper and ink made from soot and saliva. Like Traylor, Castle's works now hang in prominent museums.