O.L. Samuels' Wooden SculpturesO.L. Samuels (1931 - 2017)




Tallahassee, Florida, 32301, United States

About the Artist/Site

A former prize fighter turned tree surgeon, O.L. Samuels turned to woodcarving following a job-related accident. Born in Georgia, Samuels worked as a boxer in New York before returning to the South in the 60s. Left wheelchair-bound and deeply depressed after a falling tree limb severely injured him on the job, Samuels’ credits his inspiration to begin wood carving to his grandmother who encouraged woodcarving as a means to soothe a troubled mind. 

Samuels’ sculptures are typically animal in nature, though other anthropomorphic forms can be found such as humans and human-adjacent creatures. The carved sculptures are painted or lacquered and adorned with glittering found objects like marbles and beads. Despite the artist’s color-blindness, color is always a main factor within the carvings;  bold and bright hues are characteristic of Samuels’ style. The sculptures have found permanent residences in museums across the country including the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the American Visionary Art Museum. 

~Nikki Ranney, 2023


Folk Artist OL Samuels Wood Sculpture for Sale | Main Street Gallery

L. "Geech" Samuels | Smithsonian American Art Museum (si.edu)

O.L. Samuels — Roots up Gallery


O.L. Samuels, Folk Artist (flwildflowers.com)



wood, found objects, paint

Map & Site Information

Tallahassee, Florida, 32301 us
Latitude/Longitude: 30.4305062 / -84.2542195

Nearby Environments

Mary's Art Yard

Tallahassee, Florida

Alyne Harris

Gainesville, Florida


Buena Vista, GA

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