Sunday, December 23, 2012

From Campton to East Hampton

Many of you will recognize who made this heavily oxidized carving: Edgar Tolson of Campton, Ky. Tolson (d. 1984) tried to be a righteous Christian but his bad boy impulses often got the best of him. When he was a Baptist preacher in the 1930s he burned down a church. Tolson's artwork was discovered in the 1960s by workers documenting crafts made by the Appalachian poor. A picker bought this carving out a house in East Hampton, N.Y. Surprisingly, the picker had no idea who the maker was, which leads me to think the wealthy collectors may not have known either. A brief video of Tolson talking can be viewed here.

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