On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Beyond Borders and Boundaries, 20th and 21st Centuries
The frontal, stylized pose and formal simplicity of this angel convey the expressive essence of William Edmondson’s art. The pitted limestone surface recalls the weathered early American and African American tombstones that were sources for many
of his motifs.
Edmondson did not begin to sculpt until about 1931, when he experienced a divine calling from God commanding him to carve tombstones. He initially fashioned chisels from railroad spikes and worked from discarded pieces of limestone. Gradually, he extended the scope of his work to include small animals, figures, and biblical imagery, referring to his sculptures as “miracles.”
18 1/2 x 13 1/2 x 7 in. (47.0 x 34.3 x 17.8 cm) (show scale)
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection
Blocky and simplifed figure of angel standing on a rectangular plinth with hands clasped in front of belly, wings attached to hooded cloak that falls to floor around body, surfaces roughly hewn and pocked.
William Edmondson (American, 1874-1951). Angel, n.d. Limestone, 18 1/2 x 13 1/2 x 7 in. (47.0 x 34.3 x 17.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Alastair B. Martin, the Guennol Collection, 87.28 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 87.28_SL1.jpg)
overall, 87.28_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
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© Estate of William Edmondson
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