Olen L. Bryant (American/Tennessee, 1927-2017) carved wood sculpture depicting a female face, carved from a naturally curved and hollowed section of tree. Unsigned. Overall – 17" H x 16" W x 12" D. Weight 38.6 lbs. Provenance: Estate of Olen Bryant, Clarksville/Cottontown, TN. Biography: Nationally recognized sculptor Olen Bryant was born in Cookeville, Tennessee. He graduated from Murray State University and from the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield, Michigan, where he earned a Master's Degree in Fine Arts, and at the Cleveland Institute of Art, the Institute in the Visual Arts in American Culture at the University of Delaware, and the Winterthur Museum. His work was heavily influenced by the sculpture of Constantin Brancusi, and by Far Eastern (especially Buddhist) and Tribal art. From 1964-1991, Bryant taught as a professor at Austin Peay State University, and spent 27 years chairing the department of Sculpture and Ceramics. Bryant won the first Arts and Heritage Development Council's Lifetime Contribution to the Arts Award in 2006 and he received the Distinguished Artists Award during the 2007 Governor's Awards for the Arts. He had more than twenty-two solo exhibitions, and his work is owned by museums including the Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, the Tennessee State Museum of Art, the Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville, and the Customs House Museum in Clarksville, where a retrospective of his work was held in 2007 and 2016. His sculptures have also been displayed at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and at Tennessee's Executive Residence. Bryant, whose professors at Cranbrook introduced him to the post-World War II craft movement, was also a founding member of the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists, and the Nashville Artist Guild. (Sources: Nashville Fine Arts Magazine; The Clearing House Museum, The Clarksville Leaf Chronicle, and family information). CONDITION: Overall very good condition with general light wear. Some natural fissures to wood.
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