We spent Christmas with the in-laws in Greenville, and the day before and after I was able to visit Mr. Thompson, and then again when we returned to Greenville in May for a family event. He and Mrs. Thompson live in the Gassaway Mansion, and the family makes the first floor and grounds available for an events business. A fairytale castle location for a wedding reception– complete with an apocalyptic painter’s studio way up in the turret! (the upper floors are actually, of course, closed to the public) Although Mr. Thompson’s work spans a wide range of subjects and can be quite pleasingly pastoral, he is best best known for religious-themed canvas’ that bring a biblical urgency to contemporary times. He produced a 300 ft Revelation painting that has been exhibited three times in distant locations, and has a 1800 square foot Seven Days of Creation painting on permanent display at the American Visionary Art Museum. A nerve condition makes Mr. Thompson’s painter’s hands unsteady, but the urgency of his gestural marks underlines the biblically proportioned messages.
All non-photographic images in this post © William Thomas Thompson
(left: The Gassaway Mansion)
Up in the turret studio on large work table was a painting in progress about the 911 attack on Washington,* and mounted on the wall behind, a multi-panel work on the Holocaust. Read more…