(1900 - 1997)

 

John Robert Mason was born in North Carolina and lived in Suffolk, VA. He worked on the railroads and at the Planter's Peanuts plant. He started drawing after his retirement as something to do. He did pictures using colored pencils and felt markers on paper or cardboard. His pictures are distinguished by images of stylized birds, moons, trees and suns. His "studio" was the Hardee's restaurant in Suffolk, where he drew every day but Sunday, often giving his drawings to school children. He became such a tourist attraction that Hardee's eventually gave him a certificate awarding him free breakfasts for life. His work his work is included in the permanent collections of the Kentucky Folk Art Center and the St. James Place Folk Art Museum.

Exhibitions:

- "Virginia Originals" - Virginia Beach Centre for the Arts, Virginia Beach (1994)
- "Folk Art: The Common Wealth of Virginia" (1996)
- "Birds: Paintings and sculpture of birds by self-taught, Outsider and American Folk Artists",
American Primitive Gallery, New York, NY (1997)
- "Drawings: Alternate World Views" American Primitive Gallery, New York, NY (1999)

Ref: Contemporary American Folk Art - A Collector's Guide, Chuck and Jan Rosenak (1996)
Self Taught, Outsider and Folk Art, Betty-Carol Sellen (2000)