Freeing Art from Wood: The Sculpture of Leslie Garland Bolling

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Leslie Garland Bolling (18981955), a self-taught sculptor living in Richmond, Virginia, captured the attention and imagination of the public from 1926 to 1943 by creating than 80 wood sculptures of African Americans. Achieving national acclaim through exhibitions sponsored by the Harmon Foundation in the 1930s, Bolling combined keen observation with skilled craftsmanship to produce work that transcends the arbitrary distinctions between "folk" and "fine" art. Carved in small scale and in wood, Bollings sculptures demonstrate an easy naturalism in their gestures and movement whose perceived lack of symbolism and sentimentality was applauded by critics.
Written by Barbara C. Batson.

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