SOLD! for $14,160.00.
(Note: Prices realized include a buyer's premium.)
- Low Estimate: $12,000.00
- High Estimate: $18,000.00
- Realized: $14,160.00
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William Edmondson (American/Tennessee, c. 1884-1951) carved limestone sculpture of a bird with chiseled side and tailfeathers, perched and extended slightly forward, as if peering and poised to fly downward. Rectangular hardwood base retains label from its exhibition at William Edmondson: A Retrospective, Tennessee State Museum, 1981, #46; also exhibited "Will Edmondson's Mirkels", Cheekwood, 1964 #17. 9-1/2" x 16-1/2" x 5 1/16". Provenance: the estate of Louise Katzman, Nashville, Tennessee, acquired directly from the artist. 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. Biblical figures, women, and animals were frequent subjects, although he also produced more utilitarian items such as tombstones and birdbaths (for a discussion of the importance of birds as Biblical subject matter and in Edmondson's oeuvre, see William Edmondson: A Retrospective, Georganne Fletcher, ed., p. 34-35). In 1937, Edmondson became the first African American to receive a solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. He is regarded as one of the most important self-taught artists of the 20th century and his works are in several major museums. CONDITION: The bird has an old break to the tail feather area with a rod support entrance to the underside of the break, possibly done by Edmondson. A stabilized crack runs diagonally across the base. Mrs. Katzman is believed to have purchased the sculpture in this condition directly from the artist.