From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Gudgell, Henry

(born: 1826  -  died: 1895) 

Gudgell, born a slave in Kentucky, became a blacksmith, coppersmith, silversmith, and a wheelwright. He and his mother went with his father/master, Spence Gudgell, to Livingston County, Missouri, where he carved a walking stick that has also been described as a conjure remedy. The stick, the only surviving work of Gudgell, is at Yale University. For more about the carvings on the cane see B. J. Crouther, "Iconography of a Henry Gudgell Walking Stick," Southeastern College Art Conference Review, vol. 12, issue 3 (1993), pp. 187-191; and see "Missouri Wood Carving," The Afro-American Tradition in Decorative Arts, by J. M. Vlach, Cleveland Museum of Art.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Source: Southeastern College Art Conference review (periodical)
NKAA Source: The Afro-American tradition in decorative arts

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“Gudgell, Henry,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed December 13, 2018,

Last modified: 2017-07-19 17:51:39