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Meet the filmmakers

Mark Schlicher is a veteran documentary filmmaker who has served as producer, director, or cinematographer on numerous films airing on PBS, Smithsonian Channel, Lifetime and more. Co-producer Jackie Welch Schlicher is a writer, actor, and theatrical director.



Interviews with experts and first-person testimony are at the heart of the film. Listen to artists, historians and other experts, and hear the stories of family and other witnesses who hold vivid memories of William Edmondson as he created his work.



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Nurse Wootton on the Toilet

“That’s Miss Wootton. I put her on the pot!” grinned William Edmondson, his eyes twinkling with mischief. The sculptor was speaking with Mimi Cunningham, a former bookkeeper with Women’s Hospital of Tennessee, as they stood outside his backyard workshop and contemplated a limestone figure of a nude woman seated on a pedestal-like bench. He probably let out a booming laugh,...
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Edmondson and Weston – two visionaries meet

William Edmondson, December 30, 1941, by Edward Weston. (c) 1981, Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona A December day in Nashville Seventy three years ago today, on December 30, 1941, William Edmondson focused his penetrating gaze into the lens of photographer Edward Weston, artist-to-artist. Arms crossed, confident, William's callused hands rested lightly on his sleeves. A slight, knowing smile formed...
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Happy Birthday, William Edmondson

Angel-William Edmondson Happy Birthday, William Edmondson! The self-taught limestone sculptor was born sometime in December of 1874, on a farm just southwest of Nashville Tennessee, in what is now the Green Hills neighborhood. We know the year and month from Federal census records, but not the exact date. William's mother, Jane, bore eleven children, six of whom survived to adulthood....
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Remembering John Seigenthaler

Journalist John Seigenthaler describes Edmondson's world during an interview in April, 2014. It was an early afternoon in April, 2014. John Seigenthaler was late for our interview, and I was actually relieved. Standing alone in his spacious, comfortably cluttered office inside the John Seigenthaler Center building, I nervously labored to set up my camera and lights. I'm  deep into the...
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Who is William Edmondson?

William Edmondson at work, ca. 1937 (Louise Dahl-Wolfe, (c) Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona) William Edmondson talked with God. And God delivered a message: teach yourself to carve in limestone. Within five years, the old janitor from Nashville, Tennessee was a master sculptor, and in 1937 he became the first African American to be given a solo show...
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