Little Art Shop was Frazier Avenue Landmark

Sunday, May 08, 2011 - by Harmon Jolley
Little Art Shop, shown in 1963, was located at 201 Frazier Avenue.  Click to enlarge.
Little Art Shop, shown in 1963, was located at 201 Frazier Avenue. Click to enlarge.
- photo by Wes Schultz

The Little Art Shop was a long-time landmark of the business district of Frazier Avenue. There, customers could find supplies or take classes for their own artistic endeavors, as well as purchase original art work.

If the scenery in a painting looked familiar, there was good reason. The store’s proprietor, George Edward Little, often used the Chattanooga area as his subject.

George Edward Little was born in Ashland, Kentucky in 1908. He became interested in art as a child, and furthered his ambitions through correspondence courses.

This led to a number of stops along his journey – as a newspaper cartoonist, sign painter for J.C. Penney, lobby card artist for theaters, and owner of an art shop in Miami.

As empty-nesters in 1953, Mr. Little and his wife moved to Chattanooga, a place through which their travels had taken them several times. He worked for Faulkner Sign Company, and then opened the Little Art Shop in 1960 at 201 Frazier Avenue.

A September 4, 1966 Chattanooga News-Free Press article headlined George Little as being the “Painter of Chattanooga.” He was credited with capturing the beauty of the area on canvas, in the same way that Walter Cline had done through postcard photographs.

“From the first,” said Mr. Little, “I was struck not only by the beauty of this area, but by the variety of vistas that kept unfolding as we drove along.”

Mr. Little’s works could be found in homes, government offices, banks, insurors and merchants. Often, the images featured views of the city from surrounding mountains.

He also captured scenes of historical significance which later disappeared, such as the Union Station. His painting of the depot was displayed in the restaurant in the basement of the Tallan Building, and was framed with boards taken from the depot.

Other businesses on Frazier Avenue in the 1960's included:

* Agnew Hardware
* Fehn's Restaurant
* Haman Driving School
* Northside Lunch
* Smalley's Pharmacy
* Turner Electric

The June 12, 1983 Chattanooga News-Free Press reported that George Little and his wife were planning some time off, and that he was selling his art shop to his grandson and other investors. Looking ahead to new pursuits, Mr. Little said, “There’s so much to do around Chattanooga, I could never get it all painted. “ George Little passed away in 1989.

If you have memories of George Little or his Little Art Shop, please send me an e-mail at jolleyh@bellsouth.net.

Also, if you know of public locations where Mr. Little’s paintings of Chattanooga are still displayed, please let me know.

Former art shop today.  Click to enlarge.
Former art shop today. Click to enlarge.
- Photo2 by Wes Schultz

Five Tennessee Sites Added to the National Register of Historic Places

The Tennessee Historical Commission has announced five Tennessee sites have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation. It is part of a nationwide program that coordinates and supports efforts to identify, evaluate and protect historic resources. The ... (click for more)

Information on African-American Race Track of the 1940's

A reader asked if anyone had information on an African-American race track in the 1940's in Chattanooga.  http://www.chattanoogan.com/2014/7/13/280255/Reader-Seeks-Information-on.aspx. Local racing historian Robert F. Richey responded with the following information.  If you would like to correspond with Mr. Richey about this or any other local racing topic, you may ... (click for more)

5 Hamilton County Schools Designated As Priority Schools, 3 As Focus Schools

Five Hamilton County Schools have been designated as Priority Schools and three as Focus Schools. Priority Schools are the five percent of schools across the state with the lowest overall performance. Those from Hamilton County are Brainerd High School, Dalewood Middle School, Orchard Knob Elementary School, Orchard Knob Middle School and Woodmore Elementary School. Focus ... (click for more)

Man Robbed, Stabbed At Hixson Pike Bus Stop

A man was robbed and stabbed at a bus stop on Hixson Pike on Tuesday night. At approximately 9:30 p.m., officers were called concerning a robbery at 3800 Hixson Pike. Phani Tangirala, 22, was transported to a local hospital by HCEMS for treatment of a stab wound to the abdomen. Medical personnel stated that Mr. Tangirala appeared to have a non-life threatening wound to ... (click for more)

The Truth About Justice

The rallying cry in Ferguson Missouri has been "justice for Michael Brown." The question is what is justice? Justice is that the facts of the case are investigated thoroughly and regardless of the outcome of that investigation the family and friends of Michael Brown along with the citizens of Ferguson and this country need to accept the outcome no matter what it reveals.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Chief Delmore: ‘You Blew It!”

Far more than 50,000 people, most police officers and law enforcement authorities, have gone to a website, “LawOfficer.com” to read a scathing letter that first appeared on Sunday. Veteran lawman Ed Delmore, who became the Police Chief in Gulf Shores, Ala., after a brilliant career as the “Top Cop” in St. Louis (which he still loves), has written what was entitled, “An Open Letter ... (click for more)