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Luce Foundation Center for American Art

Folk Art: Folk Sculpture: Angel of Birth
Angel of Birth

Angel of Birth
about 1978-79
Robert Windham
13 x 7 1/2 x 7 1/4 in. (33.0 x 18.9 x 18.5 cm)
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mr. James L. Whitehead and Mr. P. Elliot Ellis
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Sculptor Robert Windham lived in rural Alabama and drew much of his inspiration from statues and gravestones in local cemeteries. He carved Angel of Birth from catalpa wood, a light-colored exotic hardwood that is native to the eastern United States. Windham applied tung oil to the surface to create a rich, golden finish that emphasizes the wood's subtle grain. The angel's joyful expression as she holds the baby close to her chest symbolizes the celebration associated with a newborn child.

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