Born in rural Kentucky, Henry Lawrence Faulkner overcame an orphaned childhood to lead a vivid bohemian lifestyle as an artist of some renown. His early artistic promise was rewarded with a scholarship to the Louisville School of Art; he later studied with Millard Sheets, Margaret Montgomery, and Pierre Sicard at the Los Angeles County Art Institute. In 1942, he embarked on a lengthy period of travel that took him around the country and included a brief commitment to a Washington, D.C. psychiatric facility; while hospitalized, he befriended fellow patient and poet Ezra Pound. The artist settled in Lexington, Kentucky in 1956 in order to pursue his artistic and poetic interests. Working from there, he created still life paintings, as well as animal and figural works, usually executed in a highly keyed palette with a whimsical sensibility.
In 1959, Faulkner formed a lifelong friendship with the playwright Tennessee Williams. From that point forward, the artist divided his time between Lexington and Key West, Florida. He traveled to Italy in 1961 and often incorporated religious sites and imagery into his canvases. Faulkner exhibited regularly over his career in New York, Ohio, and Florida, as well as at the Raymond Duncan Art Gallery in Paris, France. His eccentric life was cut short by an automobile accident in 1981. Faulkner’s 1965 Still Life with Golden Slipper is in the collection of the Morris Museum of Art.