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William Edmondson (Tennessee, c. 1884-1951) limestone bird bath sculpture, rectangular form with gently shaped edges and central round fount, supported on a low stand. 13" H x 29-1/2" W x 16-1/2" D. Provenance: purchased directly from the artist during the 1940s by the consignor's parents, Howard Chandler Jordon and Whitley Jarman Jordon Potter, friends and patrons of Edmondson. An affidavit certifying provenance, signed by the consignor, accompanies this lot. 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. 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: Overall very good condition. Water staining from use in the outdoors.