In Memory of Elmo Gideon (11 Jan. 1924 — 21 Dec. 2010)
“I believe that ART is an inspiring language that can lift Man's SOUL to great heights. Art is a strange and Universal bond that links the cultures and souls of Man together. ART IS AN ASCENDING JOURNEY; a journey from eyes closed to the creative beauties which are man's to explore and enjoy, to open eyes of communication and awareness of life's aesthetic energy. This journey is indeed an ascending one; for, once eyes and hearts and minds have been open, the path ahead is one of continual growth. This has been my direction and still is.”
Elmo Clifford Gideon, 86
Historic Miami Artist and Sculptor Gideon, 86, passed away on Tuesday, December 21, 2010 at his home and studios in Thomasville, Georgia after a lengthy illness.
Described as an “artist who borders on being an elemental force” whose own ambitions guided him in the development of revolutionary paints and sculpting compounds, technique and form and application that enabled him to create over 20,000 original works of art during his life. His paintings and sculptures include some of the world’s most known subjects, including the famous Gideon Holocaust Collection.
For decades, Gideon created hundreds of magnificent paintings and sculptures. His heavy, thick paint was often a staple signature of his unique works. Coupled with heavy sculptured frames that Gideon made himself, these classics are highly sought by private collectors.
Over the years, Gideon created one of the most prolific collections of art work by any one man. His private collection consists of over 5,000 original works.
Gideon is survived by his wife Heather Gideon, sister Eloise Flood, daughter Terry and husband Ed Markham, son Richter and wife Kathy Gideon, granddaughter Jennifer (Markham) Mabe, and grandsons Eric and Adam Markham, and Richter Gideon Jr, and great-granddaughters Ashton and Autumn Mabe, and Bailey and Erika Markham.
Services will be held Thursday, Dec. 30 at 6 pm in the chapel at Allen & Allen funeral home, 110 Hansel St, Thomasville, Ga. 229-226-6331. Visitation will be afterwards in the Gideon family home. 229-226-8468.
Artist and Sculptor Gideon: Biography
Gideon’s Youth (1924–1942)
Gideon was born in 1924 in the small town of Overland Park, Kansas. As a child growing up during The Great Depression and Dust Bowl, life very difficult. His family was struggling to survive and had little time or interest to assist him with what they saw as a passing fancy rather than a talent that should be nurtured.
Despite these struggles, his interest in art persevered from an early age. As early as five years old, motivated by his own inner drive, he would fashion paint brushes from twigs, rags and pieces of cotton. He spent hours carving, with only a pocket knife, painting figures with tiny rags on a stick.
One of these figures was from the long-running cartoon strip “Bringing Up Father” (a.k.a. Maggie & Jiggs). He entered his carving of Jiggs in a school art contest and won first prize — 25 cents. With his winnings, Gideon was then able to go to the dime store and purchase two very small cans of paint at 10 cents each, the first real paints he had ever had.
At the age of 12, he created a remarkable portrait of his grandfather done in blue chalk he had picked up from the hardware store. Many of the items he made, including the 78 year old carving of Jiggs, are still in his possession today.
by Heather Gideon
I leave now this place of my suffering, For God
Has made me a new home, Glorious in His Kingdom.
My Spirit precedes me as I prepare
To step forth from this earthly body.
I Am enlightened as all cares shed gently away.
Heavenly Hosts stand singing and rejoicing.
The Spirit of the Lord has flooded my path with
The Light of Hope and Resurrection.
I am born anew in my Celestial Home.
My loved ones greet me with outstretched arms,
And wonderful faces full of longing and love.
The quiet rain of Life Eternal washes over my soul with
This Beautiful Grace; a Grace too wonderful,
Too encompassing, to behold in my former self.
To shed its loveliness upon your hearts
Will be my portion and my delight.
I leave you in this outward appearance, and put on this
Cloak of divine presence, In order to embrace you fully;
With the full assurance of our oneness.
Do not allow your sorrow to linger, for I meet you,
In a place where we will never be parted.
I send Angels, which surround me to touch
You with the Joy of my new Journey.
I glory in the continuance of my re-creation.
I desire that you give thanks in your being,
And partake of this treasure with me forevermore.
At the end of this journey I’ll find that once more,
I can be still and wait for that heavenly gate,
We know as “death’s door”
And through portals of music, the victory won,
I’ll rest in peace sweet… In a higher retreat,
And sing eternity’s song.
Heather Gideon has a BA degree in the Arts (Art/Music/Drama) from VSU in Valdosta, GA. She does some painting and sculpting (always with Gideon’s masterful guidance). She is a writer/poet with a collection of works which Heather has named “In Fields of Heather”. Heather has been singing as long as she can remember and has put many of her songs to music.