Neal Prince Trust
being the Grantor to the
Neal A. Prince and Herbert W. Hemphill, Jr. Estate Holding Trust u/a/d 05/08/2000
which is the legal owner of this item below:

WHITE, Willie (1908-2001), American
Marker on Poster Board
(22-½" x 28")³

Neal Prince:

Artist A - G

Artist H - P

Artist Q - T

Artist U - Z


Costume Design Collection

Neal Prince & Herbert W. Hemphill, Jr. Collections 1950-1967

Fine Arts Appraisal for Herbert W. Hemphill, Jr., 1964

Fine Arts Appraisal for Neal Prince, 1969



Inventory No: NAPT.1999.000256
Willie White (1908-2001) MARKER ON POSTER BOARD, (22-½" x 28")

Artist:          Willie White (1908-2001), American (New Orleans Folk Art Artist)

Title:            Unknown

Date:            1980’s

Medium:      Folk Art, Abstract

Materials:     Marker on Poster Board

Markings:     Signed by the Artist

Dimensions: 22-½” x 28”

Framed:        Yes, item has remained within the original frame when acquired by Mr. Prince and Mr. Hemphill, Jr.;    

Inventory No: NAPT.1999.000256

Provenance: Neal Prince Trust u/a/d 10.18.1999

Mr. Neal Prince

Mrs.  Shirley Ratterree

Mr. Willie White, Artist

Provenance: Gifted from Shirley Ratterree¹ of whom was a very dear personal close Friend of Mr. Prince and Mr. Hemphill for many years, until her death in 2000. Mrs. Ratterree, along with her Husband, LeClare Ratterree Co-Owned at the time, the Circle Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Footnote¹:             See below for further profile of Mrs. Shirley Ratterree.



Inventory No: NAPT.1999.000256
Willie White, New Orleans, LA, United States
(Primitive Folk Art Artist)

Willie White (1908-2001) American

Mr. White was born in Cranfield, Mississippi. After minimal education, he worked as a porter on boats plying the Mississippi River between Natchez and New Orleans. He settled in New Orleans when he was 19, finding work as a porter and a barber. During this period, Mr. White met some artists from New York and saw this guy's paintings and started querying this guy about it. Mr. White decided he'd start doing his own paintings by using marker on poster board. Mr. White would hang his art work out on his porch on Dryades Street, and people would drive by and buy them for a few dollars apiece. Because his palette was limited to the colors of markers he could buy at a nearby drugstore with his Social Security checks in New Orleans, where he has now lived for many years until his death. Mr. White's inspiration is television images and movies of distant places. With simple shapes and bold colors drawn in bright markers on poster board, he paints a variety of subjects: prehistoric creatures, strange animals, and birds; the earth, moon, and stars; religious images, houses, cactuses. Works by Mr. White have been shown at the New Orleans Museum of Art and in other Louisiana shows. Mr. White was very much recognized by Mr. Hemphill, Jr. as a leading American Folk Art Artist. Each of these three pieces was gifted by Mrs. Shirley Scott Ratterree (of New Orleans, LA) to Mr. Prince.


Shirley Ratterree  (1922-2001) American

Mrs. Shirley Ratterree was born in Houston, Texas. She lived in New York before moving to New Orleans in 1955 and gravitating toward the cultural life of the city. Shirley was “one of the pioneer dealers of contemporary art,” said John Bullard, director of the New Orleans Museum of Art. “If there was a bohemian avant-garde, she was in the center of it.” As a manager of the Downtown Gallery in 1961, Mrs. Ratterree presided over artist George Dureau’s first exhibit. She had many literary and theater friends. One might say she was interested in the play between art and people. She wasn’t nailed down to one particular kind of art. She opened little doors for many New Orleans artists. In 1962, Mrs. Ratterree became manager of the seminal Orleans Gallery, a cooperative showplace with such celebrated members as Jim Lamantia, Gene Seidenberg, Robert Gordy, John Clemmer, Ida Kohlmeyer and Lin Emery. In the early 1970’s, Mrs. Ratterree continued fostering the arts as owner of the Circle Gallery, where Gene Koss, George Schmidt, Allison Stewart and others got their starts. Later she left the visual arts, turning her attention to freelance public relations and began volunteering for local charities.  Mrs. Ratterree was a close and dear friend of Mr. Prince and Mr. Hemphill. In accordance to Mr. Prince, “Shirley may have been called "bird legs" but our friendship for each other could never be replaced or forgotten! She is greatly missed.” Mrs. Ratterree passes away in New Orleans, LA on August 31st, 2001.

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