Archived by: Camille Klein
Creator: Unknown/decorated by Albert Wagner
Date Created: March 9, 2017
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Context: Photograph of the house (no longer occupied) of local folk artist, the late Reverend Albert Wagner
Potential Relevance For The Future: I have recently come across the work/story of Reverend Albert Wagner, who was a painter from Cleveland, Ohio, active as an independent artist at the end of the 20th century, through my own research at the college- specifically through the Allen as they have several works of his in their collection. I absolutely love the work of this artist, visually, and am drawn also to the story of his practice, as a kind of bad boy turned right by God, through an experience of holy enlightenment that turned him onto his life as a reverend/touched him to paint seriously for the first time in his life. His self-taught style is incredibly emotional and dynamic, dealing with personal subjects/events in his own life as a black man, depicting struggles in family relationships, societal prejudice/racism, pressures of addiction and violence, and a total spiritual outlook/connection to God. He painted from his home, which is decrepit in these photos, but you can still see examples of his work as part of its exterior, which were absolutely beautiful in person, which I observed first-hand during the opportunity I had to visit this site/his former home. I believe this landmark is an important subject to archive mainly because I fear its eventual demise, especially given how poor the current state of this house is. I also just think his work is incredible and I’d like to share it in a way that feels permanent.