William Edmondson (American/Tennessee, 1874-1951) carved limestone sculpture of a rabbit with raised paws, sitting on its hind legs, atop a rectangular integral base. 16 5/8″ H x 5″ W x 7 1/2″ D. Rabbits were popular subject matter for Edmondson. A very similar rabbit is visible in the background of a photograph of Edmondson’s yard taken in 1941 by photographer Edward Weston (ref. Edmund L. Fuller, “Visions In Stone: the Sculpture of William Edmondson”, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1973, pages 7 and 9), and six rabbits were exhibited in the William Edmondson retrospective exhibit at the Tennessee State Museum in 1981 (ref. exhibit catalog, p. 64, for an example closely related to this one). Provenance: Private Pennsylvania Collection. Biography: William Edmondson was born in Davidson County, Tennessee, the son of freed slaves, and worked most of his life as a railroad employee and janitor. A spiritual experience at the age of 57 prompted him to begin sculpting limestone using a railroad spike as chisel, and he claimed divine inspiration for the works produced during his 17 year art career. In 1937, Edmondson became the first African American artist to have a solo show at the Museum of Modern Art, and he is regarded as one of the most important self-taught artists of the 20th century. CONDITION: Repaired break to subject’s right ear and very old, tight repaired break to subject’s right arm. General erosion and weathering, particularly to details of subject’s lower left front and rear paws, ear tips, and to subject’s right side. Small 1″ chip to lower right side of base. Moss remnants to surface.
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