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Eagle figurine

Object Name: Figurine
Date: 1865-1870
Related People:
Medium: Wood, paint, primer
Dimensions: Overall: 4 1/2 x 7 x 3 1/2 in. ( 11.4 x 17.8 x 8.9 cm )
Place made: North America, United States
Description: Carved wooden eagle with outstretched wings, on small rounded oval base; painted black with yellow ocher and red outlining on wings, and yellow ocher on head and feet; dark green paint on base.
Credit Line: Purchased from Elie Nadelman, 1937
Object Number: INV.7955
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This object was once part of the folk art collection of Elie Nadelman (1882-1946), the avant-garde sculptor. From 1924 to 1934, Nadelman's collection was displayed in his Museum of Folk Arts, located in the Riverdale section of the Bronx. The Historical Society purchased Nadelman's entire collection in 1937.

An untrained and prolific woodcarver, Wilhelm Schimmel was a German-born itinerant who worked during the late nineteenth century within the German and Anglo-Irish communities in rural Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Despite drunken behavior that often landed him in jail, Schimmel earned the support of local families, who gave him wood for whittling his animal figures. He frequently used common household paints or leftover colors most likely received from sympathetic neighbors and hosts. The Nadelmans began acquiring Schimmel carvings in 1929.


The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman, Riverdale, NY


Flower, Milton E. Wilhelm Schimmel and Aaron Mountz wood carvers. Williamsburg, VA: Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Collection, 1965. Exhibition catalog.


"Making It Modern: The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman," Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, NM, September 6–November 29, 2015; New-York Historical Society, May 20–August 21, 2016; Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA, September 17–December 31, 2016.