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FREEING ART FROM WOOD: The Sculpture of Leslie Garland Bolling
Few things this side of Heaven give me the joy that carving does.

Freeing Art From Wood

An Ordinary Life

Few Things This Side of Heaven …

Patrons and Supporters

Working For More Appreciation of Negro Art

Spirit and Action

Recognition

List of Titles

Teaching Resources

Credits and Thanks

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For his sculptures Bolling preferred female poplar because of its softness. All of his figures were carved with a basic tool kit consisting of several pocketknives, a scroll saw, and a vise. He drew the figure from two angles on paper and traced the cutout onto the wood along two faces. He roughed out the shape of the figure with a scroll saw and then used one of several ordinary pocketknives to carve the details. For portraits, Bolling emphasized the details of the face that individualized the subject. He generally applied a light wax to the sculptures, but he also painted several pieces.

Series of six images showing Bolling carving Queen-of-Dreams. Credit: Harmon Foundation, Collection H, 1922-1967. National Archives and Records Administration, Special Media Archives Service Division, College Park, Maryland.
Bolling carving Queen-of-Dreams. Credit: Harmon Foundation, Collection H, 1922-1967.
National Archives and Records Administration, Special Media Archives Service Division, College Park, Maryland.

 

The Library of Virginia >> Exhibits >> The Sculpture of Leslie Garland Bolling