Russell Williams, Ruth

Ruth Russell Williams entered the world in 1932 in Townsville, a community in Vance County. Her upbringing was rooted in the toil of sharecropping, which shaped her early years. At just eight years old, she embarked on cotton-picking endeavors to accumulate funds for a visit to the State Fair. These formative experiences, from laboring in the fields to accompanying her grandmother to the residence of a plantation owner, later became subjects for her paintings. Williams’ journey from these modest origins led her through various roles, including owning a beauty salon and working as a cosmetologist, culminating in national acclaim as a self-taught artist.

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