The Essential Elijah Pierce
February 1 – March 16, 2014
Collaboration with Columbus Museum of Art
Elijah Pierce is one of America’s foremost woodcarvers and folk. Born in Baldwyn, Mississippi in 1892, Pierce began carving wood as a child. After a stint working as an itinerant worker, Pierce found a religious calling and received his preacher’s license in 1920. In 1923, Pierce moved to Columbus, where he married and opened a barbershop. Joining his love of woodcarving and his vocation as a preacher, Pierce continued making carvings and sculptures that took their subject from the Bible, American popular and folk heroes, and contemporary events such as the Civil Rights movement and the Vietnam War. His narrative carvings soon came to be regarded as some of the most individual, personal, whimsical, and spiritual ever produced by an American folk artist.