Your Life Is a Book and Every Day Is a Page

  • Elijah Pierce, Your Life Is a Book and Every Day Is a Page, 1973, carved and painted wood with glitter, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.261

Luce Center Label

Elijah Pierce believed we have to live our lives properly every single day in order to achieve salvation. He claimed to have many visions, and this carving shows one in which God said to him: "Elijah, your life is a book. And every day is a page . . . and one day that book will be read to you and you can't deny it because you’ve written it" (June Donmoyer, "Elijah Pierce: Woodcarver," Antique Review Preview, August 1985, and Judith Fradin, "Adapting to the New World," Footsteps, n.d.). Pierce carved an eye and an ear in the top corner of the panel to show that God is all-knowing, while the two angels in paradise represent God's reward for the faithful.

Luce Object Quote
"I'd carve anything that was a picture in my mind, I thought a pocket knife was about the best thing I'd ever seen." Elijah Pierce, quoted in Steve Berry, "Artist carved niche in world," Columbus Dispatch, May 1984
Title
Your Life Is a Book and Every Day Is a Page
Artist
Date
1973
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
17 3/4 x 27 1/8 x 1 1/4 in. (45.1 x 68.9 x 3.2 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 and painted wood with glitter
Classifications
Keywords
  • Object – flower
  • Religion – angel
  • Figure group
  • Ethnic – African-American
  • Allegory – religion – salvation
Object Number
1986.65.261
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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