Elizabeth Caldwell Talford Scott shimmered into a cool breeze at the age of 95 years. Hailing from Chester, S.C., where she, with her large family, sharecropped vegetables and cotton on the plantation where her grandparents labored as slaves, Scott made a new life in Baltimore in 1940. After meeting Charlie Scott Jr. and then bearing Lil’ Joyce, her future was set as a mother and eventually full time textile artist of national acclaim.
Mother Scott held numerous positions, from housekeeper to chef to nanny of many beloved children, but her greatest achievement was her love and nurturing of Joyce, her only child. They forged a true love and friendship throughout life, supporting each other’s endeavors from pie eating and soul singing to creating and exhibiting their artwork.
Elizabeth was a representative of the early 20th century. This hard-working African-American mother, who was born shortly after the invention of the airplane, eventually became a passenger. Yet, she always used a single needle and thread as her magic wand, creating stellar artworks that delighted many. Her quilts and wall hangings were exhibited at many venues locally as well as at Florida A&M University, New York’s Studio Museum of Harlem, The Museum of American Folk Art and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, culminating with her retrospective in 1998 entitled “Eye winkers, Tumbleturds and Candlebugs” at the Maryland Institute College of Art. “Eye winkers” traveled for two years and exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution and the New England Quilt Museum. ?She enjoyed lecturing and teaching workshops with Joyce, which included the Maryland State Art’s Council's Artist in Education Program, the Smithsonian Institution’s Folk Life Festival in Washington, D.C., the Penland School of Craft in Penland, N.C., and the University of Colorado, Boulder. In 1987, she received the prestigious Women’s Caucus for Honor Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Visual Arts.