Visit Edgar Tolson’s Portfolio
A man with a history in preaching and a brief stint in the state penitentiary, Tolson explored the nature of mankind, sin, and redemption in many of his most famous pieces. His famous poplar carvings series depicting the “Fall of Man” is a frank and highly physical portrayal of Adam and Eve’s life and temptation. Other popular subjects for Tolson’s art were politics and occasionally portraiture.
Tolson’s carvings are significant in the realm of art history as well as aesthetically pleasing. He was one of the first American self-taught artists to exhibit with “academic” artists. Indeed, his body of work displays the blended qualities of “folk” and “fine” and helped to break down many of the label barriers previously attached to mountain and rural art. Tolson’s style is simultaneously austere and involved. His work, intimately scaled and sublimely balanced, remains highly sought by collectors and celebrated by critics.