Atlanta, GA. – This Saturday, February 2nd, The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum opens a new exhibition, “Patriotic Expressions: Ulysses Davis’s Presidents from The Beach Institute & Works from the Carter Library.” Ulysses Davis was a barber in West Savannah, Georgia. He cut hair for nearly fifty years and when business was slow at his barbershop, Davis whittled and carved wooden sculptures, including all of the U.S. Presidents through George H.W. Bush.
The Carter Presidential Museum is proud to host this wonderful folk art collection of busts of the Presidents, along with works in the Museum's own collection. Davis learned metalworking from his father, a blacksmith, and began carving when he was eleven. He left school after the tenth grade to help support his family by working for the railroad. After being laid off in the early 1950s, he began barbering in a shop he built behind his home in Savannah, Georgia, carving figures from wood in his spare time.
Davis has been described as “a genius with wood sculpture and design…..A modest man, he had called himself simply a whittler, one who carves sticks and wood. But he was a brilliant sculptor, an artist of the first degree. Blessed with a fertile, rich imagination and, of course, splendid skill of hand, he chose to earn his income mainly from barbering so that the majority of his life's work would not be sold widely and could be preserved in one place where it could be viewed by the public.” The New York Times says “More than a career in art, he wanted a legacy — and he got it.”
The exhibition will be on display from Saturday, February 2nd thru Sunday, April 21st. This fascinating folk art collection exhibit is included at no extra charge with your Carter Museum admission. For more information, call 404-865-7109. You can keep up with the Carter Library events on the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library page on Facebook and follow the CarterLibrary on Twitter
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