This is the largest of three big standing tigers that Wilson was inspired to create after seeing newspaper photos of Emyr, a massive tiger brought to Portland, Maine by the Ringling Brothers Circus in 1931. The noted sculptor and folk art collector Robert Laurent originally acquired all three tigers from Wilson.
This commanding beast, which is arguably Wilson's masterpiece, carved from salvaged railroad ties and telephone poles kept in the artist's barn, is the last of the three to remain in private hands. The other two (fig. 1) were exhibited at the American Folk Art Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the 1980s and are now in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum (acc. nos. 1999.26.1 and 1999.26.2).
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