Emma Serena “Queena” Stovall was born in 1887 in rural Amherst county Virginia. She was nicknamed Queena because it was easier to pronounce then Emma Serena. When Queena was 9 her father died and the family moved to Lynchburg, then a town of about 18,000. Queena attended high school but left early to go to work. At age 19, she married a promising businessman some 14 years her senior, and the couple had 8 children. She started painting at age 62, when she was already a great-grandmother. Queena is a Southern memory painter, who often portrayed her black neighbors as well as her own family. When she died in June of 1980 she had completed only 47 paintings.
Queena Stovall’s Legacy
- Queena has been written about in a book titled “The Art of Queena Stovall: Images of Country Life (American Material Culture and Folklife)” by Claudine Weatherford
- A film called “Queena Stovall : Life’s Narrow Space” has been made about Queena’s life .
- In March 1994 Queena was one of the artists in the exhibition “Grandma Moses’ Southern Sisters: Queena Stovall and Clementine Hunter”.
- Queena’s work is in the permanent collection of the Fenimore House Museum.
- Queena was an honoree for the Virginia Women In History 2010 presented by the Library of Virginia.