Elijah Pierce’s America
June 14 – September 7, 2020
See life, faith, and politics through the eyes of an expert woodcarver.
Adults $25; seniors $23; students $5; members free
About the Exhibition
Elijah Pierce’s America presents the exceptional work of self-taught woodcarver Elijah Pierce (1892–1984), known best for a tour-de-force volume of biblical scenes. His carvings depict remarkable narratives—religious parables, autobiographical scenes, episodes from American politics—and sometimes include figures from popular culture and sports.
A barber by trade and a preacher by calling, Pierce reacted to life in 20th-century America through his handcrafted works, which also reflect his experience as one of the first generations of African Americans born into freedom. Pierce’s rich and varied sculpture is celebrated in this landmark exhibition, held in the Roberts Gallery.
This exhibition is co-curated by Nancy Ireson, Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Collections & Gund Family Chief Curator at the Barnes Foundation, and Zoé Whitley, Senior Curator at the Hayward Gallery, London.
Generous support comes from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Exhibition Fund, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and Aileen and Brian Roberts.
Critical support for all exhibitions comes from contributors to the Barnes Foundation Exhibition Fund:
Joan Carter and John Aglialoro, Julia and David Fleischner, Leigh and John Middleton, Jeanette and Joe Neubauer
John Alchin and Hal Marryatt, Christine and Michael Angelakis, Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz, Lois and Julian Brodsky, N. Judith Broudy, Laura and Bill Buck, Elaine W. Camarda and A. Morris Williams, Jr., Gloria and John Drosdick, Eugene and Michelle Dubay, Christine and George Henisee, Lisa D. Kabnick and John H. McFadden, Marguerite Lenfest, Maribeth and Steven Lerner, Victoria McNeil Le Vine, Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation, Hilarie and Mitchell Morgan, Kay and Michael Park, The Rittenhouse Hotel, Adele K. Schaeffer, Katie and Tony Schaeffer, Dr. and Mrs. Eugene E. Stark, Joan F. Thalheimer, van Beuren Charitable Foundation, Kirsten White, Anonymous.