Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Art History

Committee Chair

Earnestine L. Jenkins, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Carol Crown, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Leslie L. Luebbers, Ph.D.


Minnie Evans: Art of the Gatekeeper focuses on African American early to mid-twentieth-century social and cultural issues that were experienced by the self-taught artist Minnie Evans (1892-1987). Evans was the gatekeeper at Airlie Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina and is known for having experienced visions and dreams, which she attributed to her deep Christian faith. This study provides an extensive overview of past scholarship and offers previously undocumented oral histories and photographs that were acquired while visiting Airlie Gardens and St. Matthew African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington. The subjects discussed include the Airlie Gardens gate, gates to dreams, African American gardening, World War II combat, and twentieth-century civil rights issues, pop-culture, folklore, astrology, and mythology. This study also explores the link between the African Methodist Episcopal Church, mythology, religion, and Prince Hall Freemasonry. Ultimately, by exploring the above mentioned subjects Evans' artworks are better understood.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.