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 for Collections and Exhibitions & Gund Family Chief Curator at the Barnes Foundation, and Zoé Whitley, Director of Chisenhale Gallery, London.
The Barnes Foundation
2025 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
Philadelphia, PA 19130, USA