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Gabriel Angel

Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion

Gabriel Angel

Artist: Fred Webster (Born in Fayette County, Alabama, 1911 – 1998)
Culture: American
Date: c. 1990s
Medium: House paint on wood
Dimensions:
10 x 7 x 5 inches (25.4 x 17.8 x 12.7 cm)
Classification: Painting
Credit Line: Gift of Bruce Lineker, T'86
Label Text:Gabriel Angel is one of Fred Webster's many depictions of the archangel who, according to the Bible, appeared to Mary and informed her that she would bear the son of God. Although the Angel Gabriel is usually depicted as a spectacular being emanating power and light, Webster's interpretation of the angel is not elaborate. Constructed from nine small pieces of wood, Webster's Gabriel is a minimalist miniature, toylike, bright and playful. Webster took on epic subject matter but expressed it in a down-to-earth manner using his preferred methods of art-making. This type of personalization often occurs in Outsider art. Webster favored wood that was largely free of knots and deep grains. Carved from densely grained wood, Gabriel Angel has a very smooth surface more associated with manufactured goods than hand-crafted objects. Yet Webster's unique touch remains visible in such painstaking details as Gabriel's minutely carved and colored facial features and his delicately nailed joints.

Object number: 2008.11.19