[Columbus, Ohio]: The Logan Elm Press, 1980. First edition. Broadside, 19 x 12.5 inches on handmade laid paper, illustrated with a woodcut and printed in colors. SIGNED by the artist beneath the image. Fine. Item #53084
Elijah Pierce (1892-1984) Baptist preacher, barber and one of the most celebrated American wood carvers of the twentieth century. He was born in Mississippi, the son of a former slave. As a child, he began whittling and carving little figures from sraps of wood. After the death of his first wife in 1915, Pierce joined the Great Migration North. He earned his preaching license in 1920 and settled with his second wife, Cornelia in Columbus, Ohio, in 1923. There he worked steadily as a barber, carving as a pastime. "By the 1930s, Pierce was making colorful painted-and-polished sculptural reliefs as well as freestanding figures, which illustrated Biblical scenes, depicted popular cultural events and personages-particularly from sports and cinema--and recounted autobiographical details. He opened his own barbershop in 1951, installing a woodworking studio. Pierce's sculptures, already well-known in his community, garnered broader art-world attention in the 1970s, when he exhibited nationally and internationally, retiring from his barbering and concentrating exclusively on his art. He began to tackle more topical subjects like the Civil Rights Movement and Watergate. In 1982 he won a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, in recognition of his cultural achievements." --Brendan Greaves (Foundation for self-taught American Artists.)
From the colophon: "After having carved wood reliefs for most of his 88 years, The Logan Elm Press, the Arts-of-the-Book laboratory of the Ohio State University College of the Arts, Department of Art Education, is honored to present Elijah Pierce's first woodcut. KIDS DON'T CARE ABOUT RACE? is Number Three in the Logan Elm Press Broadside Series and was designed and printed by Leesa Pendley, Summer 1980."
Although not noted on this broadside, approximently less than 100 copies were printed, and of these no more than 25 were signed by the artist.