Lamar Dodd first won acclaim as a regional, or American Scene, artist who painted realistic scenes of the rural South during the early 20th century: cotton picking, river baptisms, small-town life. But he didn’t limit himself, says Martha Severens, curator of the Greenville Museum of Art in South Carolina, which specializes in Southern artists.
Dodd was willing to tackle the trends of his time by experimenting with many different styles, including what she called his “lyrical abstractions” of space flight, open-heart surgery and O.J. Simpson’s black glove.
She and others credit Dodd with building UGA’s art school into an internationally known institution. Severens says few universities had major art schools when Dodd took over the art department in 1938. “He certainly put UGA on the map,” she says.