Renowned folk artist and wood carver, Elijah Pierce (1892-1984), the youngest son of a former slave, was born on a cotton farm in Baldwyn, Mississippi. Under the instruction of his uncle, Lewis Wallace, Elijah learned to carve wood at the young age of seven using a pocketknife that his father gave him. Full of devotion as a husband, preacher, and barber, his life-long practice of woodcarving and talents as an artist were only discovered publicly during the last decade of his life. Read more here.
The “Book of Wood” at POBA | Where The Arts Live, is an online arts hub and resource center that displays, promotes, and preserves creative legacies; helps folks that own or manage a creative legacy or arts collection to ensure these collections live on; and helps working artists to manage their works for future preservation, viewing, and value. Recently, POBA wrote an article about Elijah Pierce and his background. The wood carver was also a preacher and often created works with religious themes.
“When I was a boy I was always carving,” he said. “I’d look at a tree, and I could hardly help it. I’d start carving. I carved pictures of cows, hogs, dogs, Indians with a bow and arrow shooting, girls’ names … most anything I could think to put on the bark of a tree.”
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