Research: Luce Center for American Art

Tiger
Accession #1999.26.2
Maker Augustus Aaron Wilson
TitleTiger
Date1931
MediumPainted wood, horsehair or bristles
Dimensions36 x 12 x 79 in. (91.4 x 30.5 x 200.7 cm)
Credit LineGift of the Guennol Collection
LocationAmerican Identities: Art Making / Centennial Era
DescriptionCarved wooden figure in form of a tiger. Long sleek body with simplified modeling, head raised with mouth open, front legs standing straight and back legs striding. Attached whiskers of horsehair or bristles. Painted orange with white underside and black stripes.

Curatorial Remarks:

Augustus Aaron Wilson, a retired lighthouse keeper, is best known for his duck decoys and other small carvings. When the Ringling Brothers circus came to town in 1931, he was inspired by Emyr, said to be the largest tiger in captivity, to carve these tigers from salvaged railroad ties and telephone poles that he kept in his barn. The smaller of these two works is thought to be the earlier attempt.