In this new children’s book, You Gotta Meet Mr. Pierce! The Storied Life of Folk Artist Elijah Pierce (Kokila, 2023), authors Chiquita Mullins Lee and Carmella Van Vleet tell the fascinating story of Elijah Pierce (1892-1984). A barber in Columbus, Ohio, Pierce was a self-taught artist who produced wood carvings of animals, religious scenes, and social commentaries on contemporary life, becoming one of the most celebrated folk artists in America. This exhibition features the book’s illustrations by Jennifer Mack-Watkins done in mokuhanga, the traditional Japanese woodcut technique. Accompanied by related preparatory material, these illustrations celebrate Mack-Watkins’ artistry in bringing to life the story of Elijah Pierce.
Organized by Nicole Simpson, Ph.D., Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings