By way of Shadows of Spirit: The Visual Culture of Gullah and BeyondGund Gallery associates looked further into the ironwork of Philip Simmons. Born in 1912 in South Carolina, Simmons began as a blacksmith in 1930, focusing on decorative iron work later in his career and until his death in 2009. Among other honors and awards, he was aNEA National Heritage Fellow in 1982. His work is represented in the collections of the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution; the International Museum of Folk Art, Santa Fe; the Richland County Public Library, Columbia, South Carolina; the Atlanta History Center as well as a vital part of hundreds of private homes and public institutions, as gates, railings and fencing.
For more information on Simmons, check out an oral interview from the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, this feature in Charleston Magazine, and the videos below: