Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Edmondsons in:
 • Mount Ararat Cemetery
 • Nashville
 • Davidson County
 • Tennessee
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial!
William Edmondson
Learn about sponsoring this memorial...
Birth: 1874
Davidson County
Tennessee, USA
Death: Feb. 7, 1951
Davidson County
Tennessee, USA

An African American railroad worker and janitor turned sculptor whose work included tombstones, bird baths and other lawn ornaments, animals, biblical characters and various people important to the African American community. This son of former slaves Jane Brown and "Orange" Edmondson was in his 50s when he began to carve figures from rocks. He maintained his work was inspired by God speaking to him, showing him what to carve. In 1937 he was the first African American to have a one-man show in the Museum of Modern Art in New York. It was his only solo showing. In 1938, his work was included in the museum's exhibit, "Three Centuries of Art in the United States," in Paris.

Award-winning poet Elizabeth Spires celebrates the artist in her book, "I Heard God Talking To Me: William Edmondson and His Stone Carvings," (Macmillan, 2009).

The precise location of Edmondson's grave in Mt. Ararat is unknown, the result of a fire which destroyed the cemetery's records. If a tombstone once marked his grave, it has not been located. Many of the gravestones of this historic cemetery have been damaged, sunk or otherwise disappeared. 
Mount Ararat Cemetery
Davidson County
Tennessee, USA
Maintained by: OBXr
Originally Created by: Jerry Owen
Record added: Jul 23, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 73804565
William Edmondson
Added by: OBXr
William Edmondson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: OBXr
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.

So interesting.
- Joan
 Added: Sep. 25, 2014 show examples of his work. A park at Seventeenth Ave, North, and Charlotte Ave was named in his honor.
- Gary Koch
 Added: Jun. 8, 2013
Ironic indeed. His art and memory were discussed on the CBS program, Sunday Morning on June 2, 2013. It would be great to see a movement to get him an appropriate historic marker at the cemetery.
- Gary Koch
 Added: Jun. 8, 2013
There are 13 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service