Christ Carrying the Cross

  • Elijah Pierce, Christ Carrying the Cross, ca. 1972, carved, painted and varnished wood with glitter mounted on painted corrugated cardboard with paper collage, painted stones and glitter, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.260

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Elijah Pierce described his carvings as sermons, and used them to teach people about the Bible (Elijah Pierce Wood Carver, The Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, 1973, exhibition catalogue). This carving shows Christ with the cross just before he was crucified. Pierce filled the image with swirling colors and gesturing figures to evoke the crowds of people who witnessed Jesus’s crucifixion, although it is difficult to tell whether they are cheering or weeping over his impending death.

Luce Object Quote

“I enjoy [religious work] the most. You know, some great writer once said, ‘One picture is worth a thousand words.’ And I thought of the book, The Bible: one picture is worth a thousand of those words! So my mind just went thatta way.” The artist, quoted in Elijah Pierce Wood Carver, The Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts, 1973, exhibition catalogue

Title
Christ Carrying the Cross
Artist
Date
ca. 1972
On View
Dimensions
24 3/4 x 20 x 7/8 in. (62.9 x 50.8 x 2.2 cm.)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums
Mediums Description
carved, painted and varnished wood with glitter mounted on painted corrugated cardboard with paper collage, painted stones and glitter
Classifications
Keywords
  • Religion – angel
  • Religion – New Testament – Christ
  • Religion – New Testament – Crucifixion
Object Number
1986.65.260
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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