Uncommon Original James Earl Ray Painting from Prison
RAY, James Earl (1928-1998)/ American fugitive, felon, on April 4, 1968 convicted of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr in Memphis, Tennessee. He was also convicted of armed robbery, burglary and prison escape. Ray joined the U.S. Army near the close of WWII, served in Germany but he could not adapt to military life. He was discharged due to ineptness. Later he was convicted of mail fraud and served four years in Leavenworth. In 1959 he was caught stealing in an armed robbery. He was sentenced to twenty years for this being a repeated offence. He escaped from Missouri State Prison and spent time hiding in Mexico. During this time, he established himself as a pornographic film director photographing local prostitutes. Ray was prejudice against black people and was attracted to the George Wallace campaign. He volunteered at the Wallace Campaign Headquarters in North Hollywood. In 1968 he underwent facial reconstruction and on March 30, 1968 he bought a Remington Model 760 Gamemaster 30-06 caliber rifle, a scope and a box of cartridges. Just days later on April 4, 1968 he killed Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a single shot in Memphis, Tennessee. After fleeing the United States, Ray was arrested at London’s Heathrow Airport. He was sent to Tennessee and on his 41st birthday he was sentenced to 99 years in prison. On June 10, 1977 Ray and six other inmates escaped Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary. They were captured 3 days later.
Colorful acrylic painting on artist board consisting of a farmhouse, barn, a large field, trees, huge rock, blue skies and a white cloud. On the verso Ray has signed his name in full, in ink and has added his prison umber: “65477” and writes the address of the property: “7475 Cockrill Bend Ind. Rd. Nashville, Tennessee 37209, State Prison, 1994.” For the purpose of framing, the framer has attached a matboard to the back of the frame. They cut an opening in the mat so Ray’s signature and writing can easily be seen. Overall size of the frame is 17.5”x21” In excellent condition. Few original Ray paintings have appeared in the market, one estimated in an auction $8,000-$12,000. There is one presently on eBay for $9,500.00. Some of his paintings have been reproduced in prints and lithographs which were made to satisfy collectors. Our price ................................$2,900.00