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    Artist Name:

    Elijah Pierce

    Nationality & Life Dates:

    American, 1892–1984


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


    ca. 1941


    Wood and paint


    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:


    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.

    Reproduction of digital images, including downloading, is governed by copyright laws and international conventions. Please contact the Images and Rights Coordinator for information concerning permissions or to request digital photography of works in the High's collection.

    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.

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