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Leroy Almon, Sr.
Hell
1990
enamel on redwood with nails
36 x 22 1/2 x 3/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of an anonymous donor



A triumphant Christ has chained "Mr. And Mrs. Satan" in their own inferno and promises salvation for lost souls from all races. In this dramatic interpretation of the Harrowing of Hell, Almon shows the crucified Christ, who has descended into hell, claiming victory over death and evil. This nondenominational evangelical preacher from Tallapoosa, Georgia, began carving his inspirational interpretations of spiritual and contemporary secular themes during an apprenticeship with Elijah Pierce, a well-known African American lay minister and wood carver in Columbus, Ohio.