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    Artist Name:

    Elijah Pierce

    Nationality & Life Dates:

    American, 1892–1984

    Title:

    Three Ways to Send a Message: Telephone, Telegram, Tell-a-Woman

    Date:

    ca. 1941

    Medium:

    Carved wood and paint

    Dimensions:

    15 1/2 x 18 x 1 1/2 inches

    Credit Line:

    Purchase with T. Marshall Hahn Folk Art Acquisition Fund for the T. Marshall Hahn Collection

    Accession Number:

    1998.80

    On View - Stent Family Wing, Skyway Level, Gallery 407
    Elijah Pierce was a Baptist minister who used his carving skills to create “sermons in wood,” which he used as teaching tools. Illustrated on the left panel of this complex composition are a telegram bicycle messenger, a telephone, and the act of “telling a woman.” On the right panel is a portrait of George Washington Carver surrounded by the peanuts and sweet potatoes of his famed agricultural experiments. Together these images address various forms of communication, from private gossip to public education. This work concerns the central importance of oral tradition within any community as well as the moral challenges inherent in storytelling.



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    Please Note: Not all permanent collection works are currently on view. Please contact the Museum concerning the on view status for a specific work if required.