James Moore Rhett
(1893 - 1941)
Billy's grandfather (William's great-grandfather) lived, worked and painted all his life in Beaufort. His pieces, created mostly in inks, pastels and charcoal are charmingly naïve and almost Oriental in design. He was able to capture the essence of our lowcountry with a few simple strokes, a challenge for any artist. Many of these he gave as Christmas cards or, during the depression, sold for a dollar apiece. On occasion he painted small coastal scenes in India Ink, a technique that is as unforgiving in its application as any medium. We are very pleased to have been able to reproduce a few of these works that we have inherited.
As an aside, according to his son Alfred, in 1931 he welcomed a visitor, Miss Margaret Mitchell, and gave her the family's permission to use the name "Rhett" in her "forthcoming novel," Gone with the Wind.