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... In the depths of the Great Depression, William Edmondson talked with God. And God delivered a message: “Learn to carve sculptures in limestone.” Within 5 years, the unschooled janitor from Nashville, Tennessee taught himself to be a master sculptor. His work attracted influential fans, and in 1937 he became the first African American to be awarded a solo show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. William Edmondson, inspired by divine visions, called his carved limestone figures “miracles I can do.” Today, his “miracles” are prized by collectors and continue to inspire new generations of artists.
Today, his sculptures fetch as much as $400,000. Yet Edmondson’s story and his work remain unknown outside of a small group of elite collectors. This film aims to bring his story the attention it deserves. What inspired and drove Edmondson? How was he able to overcome the heavy burden of discrimination and segregation and become recognized in the highest strata of the art world? Who were the friends who helped his rise? What caused his fall back into obscurity? What is the lasting value of his work, and how does his legacy live on in the work of other artists today?
“Chipping Away: The Life and Legacy of Sculptor William Edmondson”, a feature length documentary by award-winning filmmaker Mark Schlicher, celebrates the life story of this extraordinary artist....“ (http://williamedmondsonmovie.com/story/)
...one of 6 children of freed slaves Orange and Jane Edmondson. He had little or no formal education, and it was reported that he was unable to read or write.
...Edmondson entered the world of sculpture by a divine command. He reported that he received a vision from God, who told him to start sculpting....