William R. Hollingsworth, Jr. (1910-1944) remains one of Mississippi's most significant artists.
To Paint and Pray explores Hollingsworth's life, from his childhood in Jackson, through his studies at the University of Mississippi and the Art Institute of Chicago, to his adulthood in Jackson as an artist.
Hollingsworth was prolific in his work, capturing the landscapes and people of central Mississippi in watercolors and oil.
In 1958 Eudora Welty stated of Hollingsworth that the accuracy of his eye, turned on the home scene, is as marvelously reliable as that of another Mississippi William in another line of work."To Paint and Pray contains a biographical essay by curator Robin C.
Dietrick and a critical essay by scholar J. Richard Gruber, along with an extensive timeline of the artist's life and career.
The book includes more than 120 illustrations from Hollingsworth's poetic paintings to notes jotted in his private sketchbooks and intimate family photographs.
To Paint and Pray is the most extensive publication on William R.
Hollingsworth, Jr., to date. During his lifetime, the artist received numerous national awards for his art and exhibited across the country, from San Diego to Chicago, New Orleans, Memphis, Atlanta, and New York, among others.
Working at the time of the great "regionalists" Thomas Hart Benton, John Steuart Curry, and Grant Wood, Hollingsworth exhibited alongside those masters and was building a name for himself nationally at the time of his death.
Recently, with renewed interest in southern art, Hollingsworth's enduring artwork is again growing in popularity.