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Gene Pullen
Master Carver

On Exhibit Now

Elisabeth Ireland Poe Gallery
Upper Floor, Main House, Pebble Hill P

Gene Pullen and FDR bustCharles Eugene (“Gene”) Pullen was a very talented, self-taught artist whose carving works can be found throughout Pebble Hill Plantation. Gene served in France with the Army Medical Corps during World War I.  He was regularly exposed to inclement weather and mustard gas.  He developed severe asthma that impacted him for the rest of his life.   Shortly upon returning home, he turned his interest and love of whittling wood into a livelihood.

In 1932, Gene carved a bust of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and presented it to him at Warm Springs, Georgia, with members of the national media on hand to cover the event. 

wooden box lidGene’s first project at Pebble Hill was to carve butter molds for Mrs. Harvey that featured some of her prize-winning Jersey cows.  And later he created horse hoof carvings and saddle racks.  A backgammon set, featuring favorite dogs versus the animals of the hunt, is quite unique.  Hunting horns, figurines, cabinet details, and many other items in the Main House showcase his work and his extreme attention to detail. 

In a letter from Mrs. Poe to Gene dated August 17, 1952, she writes, “…Always, the things you have carved for me are a perfect joy to look at every day, and I think the world of all of them, as you know.  You have done some perfectly lovely things, which will always stand out as the most perfect workmanship and most unique.”  Gene died in September 1952.


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