Rabbit

  • William Edmondson, Rabbit, ca. 1940, carved limestone, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.241

Luce Center Label
William Edmondson drew inspiration from daily life, religion, and African American folklore in creating his limestone figures. In many parts of Africa, the rabbit appears in folklore as the quintessential trickster, a character that relies on intelligence and wits to overcome adversity. For enslaved Africans in the United States, these traditional stories kept them connected and gave them hope. The tales of Br'er Rabbit were especially powerful, and Harlem Renaissance poet Arna Bontemps once called Br'er Rabbit the "adopted hero of the American Negro slave." Edmondson's parents were both former slaves, and the artist likely grew up hearing tales devised to teach children how to think, behave, and survive. He carved numerous variations of the rabbit, more than any other animal figure.
Title
Rabbit
Artist
Date
ca. 1940
On View
Dimensions
12 5/8 x 5 x 8 in. (32.0 x 12.7 x 20.3 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 limestone
Classifications
Keywords
  • Animal – rabbit
Object Number
1986.65.241
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

ca. 1932-1937
limestone
ca. 1937
carved limestone
ca. 1932-1940
carved limestone

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metal: monel/brazed with nickel-silver on limestone base