Viriginia Dudley was born December 10, 1913 to Charles and Laura Dudley. She started drawing in the first grade and continued her whole life. She attended Central High School in Chattanooga. While attending the University of Chattanooga she caught the attention of Frank Baisden Art instructor, When her art was entered in the Art Students League of New York she won a scholarship there. This started her on the road to several colleges. She received her Master of Fine Arts at Claremont Graduate School in California. She also attended under scholarships, fellowships, or grants at University of Chattanooga, Art Students League, Cranbrook Academy in Michigan, Rosewald Fellowship, University of Miami, and also at the New Mexico State College. Later in her life she was one of sixty-four people (the only Woman) who were being considered as a Director of Arts and Crafts for the Sac 8th Air Force. She was selected for the job which took her from Newfoundland, Labrador all down the east coast and to the west also. Before taking the job With the Air Force she had been Arts and crafts Director far the Army.
She had twenty-six sold exhibitions in the USA and oversees, several group shows, and a mural at the Cherokee Regional Library in Summerville, Georgia.
She Was a Painter, Sculptor, Enamellist, and Photographer. Her mediums were Oil, Watercolor, Metal, Glass, Ceramics and Batik, She saw beauty in every thing.
Permanent Works of Art are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, Library of Congress in Washington D.C., Emerson Museum of Art in Syracuse, New York and University Museums in Tennessee, Georgia, Florida and Pennsylvania.
She Won many prizes, awards and honors: First prizes were awarded by the International Ceramic Exhibit in New York, Canadian Pacific Exhibition (Enameling), Grove Page Prize (Printmaking) in New Orleans. First prizes were also awarded from the University of Chattanooga, Hunter Art Gallery, and the Southern Highland Handicraft
During her life she was elected a Life Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters; where she joined other members such as Mate Chagall-Painter, Thornton Wllder-Play write and William Wllder-Director,
She was listed in many honorary books: Royal Blue Book in London, England, Who’s Who In American Education, Who’s Who in American Art, Who’s Who of American Women, International Biographies, Who’s Who in the South and Southwest, Two Thousand Woman of Achievement and Royal Asatic Society.
She traveled through the USA. Europe and the Orient Her last post was Associate Professor of Art at Shorter College. When time allowed she returned to the place she loved best, her home in New Salem on Lookout Mountain. She loved being there and doing what she loved best, painting and perusing her crafts. As she said “it’s not only a way of life, it is life to me.” And of her teaching, it’s as if you kindled something in people that has never been there before. “You’re giving and also receiving, you learn from those you teach.