Temptation of Adam

  • Edgar Tolson, Temptation of Adam, 1974, carved and painted wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.272

Luce Center Label
Edgar Tolson created around a hundred carvings that show Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. He believed that this event, along with the crucifixion of Christ, was one of the most important in history because it symbolized human weakness. (Michael D. Hall, "You Make It with Your Mind," The Clarion, 1987) In this piece, Tolson left the wood bare to symbolize the innocence of the first couple, but painted the snake black to highlight the devil's wickedness.
Luce Object Quote
"God made the first Adam and Eve and I made the second. But I lack a long shot of being God." Edgar Tolson, quoted in Michael D. Hall, "You Make It with Your Mind," The Clarion, 1987
Title
Temptation of Adam
Artist
Date
1974
Location
Not on view
Dimensions
14 3/4 x 12 1/4 x 8 in. (37.5 x 31.1 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 and painted wood
Classifications
Keywords
  • Religion – Old Testament – Adam
  • Landscape – tree – apple tree
  • State of being – evil – temptation
  • Religion – Old Testament – Eve
  • Animal – reptile – snake
Object Number
1986.65.272
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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