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Walter Edmonds, "Life's Struggles, ca. 1973. Oil on canvas, 48" x 54 "
Trained at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the Samuel S. Fleisher Arts Memorial, and the Philadelphia Museum School of Art (now University of the Arts), Walter Edmonds was an early member of the collective Recherché, the group of African American artists that formed around the Sande Webster Gallery. He has designed and painted numerous murals in and around the city, and his paintings, prints, and sculptures can be found in several prestigious museums and private collections, including those of actor Danny Glover and writer Chinua Achebe. (See downloadable cv HERE for an expanded list of collections and awards.)
“Life’s Struggles” is one of several rare, finished works created in preparation for Edmonds’ series of large-scale murals in the Church of the Advocate, a large church at the center of Philadelphia’s Black community. Given full creative license to re-imagine a series of biblical passages as they specifically related to the difficult social circumstances of the current post-Civil Rights era and the history of American slavery, Edmonds created several violent, impassioned scenes filled with apocalyptic imagery of writhing demons, brutal murders, hellfire, chains, accusations of injustice, and clear implications of blame. His paintings have been admired as courageously honest and necessary, ideally suited for this environment. Edmonds’ murals have become significant cultural landmarks.
Bibliography: We Speak: Black Artists in Philadelphia, 1920s-1960s. Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, 2015-16. Click HERE to view the complete catalog.
Other Walter Edmonds paintings from this same series placed in museum and private collections:
Exhibited in "We Speak: Black Artists in Philadelphia, 1920s-1970s," Woodmere Art Museum. Not for sale.