June 21, 1953
Cicero Pilgrim married Lee Ethel McCray; they had eight children. Pilgrim was a self-taught African-American sculptor whose works express a highly personal and often humorous vision, showing little influence from African or European traditions. On a small farm near his birthplace of Wooster (Faulkner County), he and his family raised farm animals, gardened, fished, gigged frogs, and hunted small animals. Pilgrim also took a variety of manual-labor jobs for cash. At night, using pocketknives and carpenter’s tools, Pilgrim carved sculptures at the kitchen table. In the early 1970s, the art department of Hendrix College organized a show in the Trieschmann Gallery to celebrate his work. A number of small sculptures by Pilgrim are on permanent display at the Bailey Library at Hendrix.