Entry Category: Arts - Starting with G

Graham, Josephine Hutson

Josephine Hutson Graham was a prolific artist, educator, author, and folklorist of Arkansas’s White River culture and cuisine. She won many local, regional, and national art awards and held more than twenty one-woman shows throughout the South and Southwest, as well as shows in New York, Washington DC, and Dallas, Texas. Josephine Hutson was born in Newport (Jackson County) on April 12, 1915, to Thomas Hutson (a cotton broker) and Mary Bailey Hutson; she had one younger brother. After high school graduation in Newport, Graham attended the University of Texas for three years before transferring to the University of Arkansas (UA) in Fayetteville (Washington County). She earned a bachelor’s degree in English. She married Thomas Nathan Graham, a farmer and …

Gray, Joseph Ray (Joe)

Joseph Ray Gray (commonly known as Joe or J. R. Gray) was a painter, illustrator, sculptor, and graphic designer who grew up in Dardanelle (Yell County). His lasting influence on the art of the Arkansas River Valley grew from his passion for the environment, which defined not only his seventy-five-year fine arts career but also the development of his distinctive and varied artistic styles. Gray designed and illustrated publications and advertising campaigns, as well as creating—to the delight of friends, family, and numerous fans—outspoken political cartoons. Born in Booneville (Logan County) on September 25, 1917, Joe Gray was the son of Armour Gray, who was a meat cutter and, later, a grocery store owner, and Cena Rea McCorkle Gray. Around …

Greek Amphitheatre (Magnolia)

The Greek Amphitheatre, located at the junction of East Lane Drive, East University Street, and Crescent Drive at Southern Arkansas University (SAU) in Magnolia (Columbia County), was constructed between 1936 and 1938 with assistance from the National Youth Administration (NYA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 1, 2005. In 1936, the graduating class at the then two-year Magnolia A&M voted to help build an amphitheater on the campus as their memorial to the school. They acquired support from the NYA, with the federal agency providing labor and the college and the class of 1936 supplying an additional $200 and materials. The stage had progressed sufficiently to host a May …

Green, Al

Al Green is one of Arkansas’s best-known singers, with a career that has ranged from rhythm and blues (R&B) to pop to gospel and a combination. Green’s distinctive falsetto singing style continues to thrill fans old and young, and he remains an active soul singer from an era that also produced Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, and Marvin Gaye. Al Greene (he later dropped the last “e”) was born on April 13, 1946, in Forrest City (St. Francis County) and grew up in a large family that sang gospel music. When his sharecropper father moved the family to Grand Rapids, Michigan, Green was only nine but sang with his siblings in the Green Brothers. When he began listening to the non-gospel …

Greene County Courthouse (1888)

The 1888 Greene County Courthouse, located at 306 W. Court Street in Paragould (Greene County), is a three-story rectangular structure. The building exhibits the Italianate style in the low-pitched, hipped roofline; the square cupola supporting a clock tower; widely overhanging eaves with decorative brackets; and tall, narrow windows. The exterior also features Georgian Revival accents shown in the pediments on each side. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on August 11, 1976. The restored building is no longer used as a courthouse, but it houses the Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce and is open to visitors. Greene County has changed county seats three times. The first county seat was located at a town called Paris …

Greenwood Gymnasium

aka: Old Rock Gym
The Greenwood Gymnasium, at 300 East Gary Street in Greenwood (Sebastian County), is a sturdy stone structure built between 1937 and 1939 with assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief agency. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 15, 2011. The first school classes taught in the southern Sebastian County area where the town of Greenwood would be established began in 1870 in a one-room log building. Some classes were available by subscription at the Buckner College near Greenwood in the late 1870s and early 1880s, but students receiving a public education were assigned to Pleasant Ridge School District No. 12, which was based in Palestine. Greenwood’s population swelled with the …

Gridiron

The Gridiron Show is a satirical musical production that makes good-natured fun of prominent people in politics, business, the judiciary, and the legal profession. It is presented biennially in Little Rock (Pulaski County) by Gridiron Productions, Inc., a nonprofit corporation composed of lawyers and others associated with the legal profession. All cast members are either lawyers or connected to the legal profession by employment, family ties, or friendship, and all are unpaid. The director, choreographer, musical director, and band are paid professionals. The script is written by a group called the Clandestine Committee. The Gridiron Show was first presented in 1916 by members of what was then the Little Rock Bar Association at a Gridiron luncheon. The luncheon was held …

Griffin Auto Company Building

The Griffin Auto Company building was considered the finest car dealership building in the city of El Dorado (Union County) when it opened in 1928. The building exemplifies the architectural transition from the traditional storefront showrooms to super service stations. The Murphy Arts District (MAD) purchased the Griffin building in 2012, restoring and converting it into a farm-to-table restaurant and music venue. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 25, 2001, and included in the El Dorado Commercial Historic District on August 21, 2003, the Griffin Auto Company Building is located at 117 E. Locust, two blocks from El Dorado’s courthouse square. Its boxy, symmetrical massing was originally divided into three sections: a filling station, a showroom, …

Gurdon Jail

The Gurdon Jail is a small structure located in the former timber boom town of Gurdon (Clark County). It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on November 24, 1989. It stands derelict in the twenty-first century. Gurdon was incorporated in 1880. The timber town was founded on the Cairo and Fulton Railroad, and the addition of another line to Camden (Ouachita County) and a third to Montgomery County in 1906 brought hundreds to the community. The growing population attracted numerous businesses to the town, as well as crime. While major criminals were transported to Arkadelphia (Clark County), locals arrested for petty offenses often remained in their community, creating the need for a jail in Gurdon. The Gurdon …

Gustave B. Kleinschmidt House

The Gustave B. Kleinschmidt House, located at 621 East 16th Street in Little Rock (Pulaski County), is a one-and-a-half-story, wood-frame cottage designed in the Colonial Revival style, though it has Queen Anne–style massing. It was built in 1907 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 7, 2016. Gustave B. Kleinschmidt was born in Germany in 1866 and moved to the United States with his parents in 1880. Living first in New York, the family then moved to Morrilton (Conway County). Kleinschmidt moved to Little Rock four years later to live with two of his brothers. In early 1892, he married Elizabeth Jungblut; they had six sons. Kleinschmidt worked as a barkeeper at several Little Rock establishments …

Guy High School Gymnasium

The Guy High School Gymnasium, located in the Guy-Perkins School District complex at 492 Highway 25 in Guy (Faulkner County), is a single-story, rectangular building constructed around 1937 with assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 10, 1992. School consolidation in Faulkner County in 1929–30 led to the creation of the Guy-Perkins School District No. 34 when the Guy, Rowlette, Perkins, Chinquapin, and Hendrickson districts, all in Faulkner County, were merged. The consolidated district decided to pursue funding for a new gymnasium at its Guy complex through President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. The district’s application to the WPA was successful, and a card …

Guy Home Economics Building

The Guy Home Economics Building, located in the Guy-Perkins School District complex at 492 Highway 25 in Guy (Faulkner County), is a single-story, Craftsman-style building constructed around 1936 with assistance from the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a Depression-era federal relief program. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 10, 1992. School consolidation in Faulkner County in 1929–30 led to the creation of the Guy-Perkins School District No. 34 when the Guy, Rowlett, Perkins, Chinquapin, and Hendrickson districts, all in Faulkner County, were merged. The fledgling district decided to pursue funding through President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal for a building to house its home economics program at its Guy complex. The district’s 1935 application to the …