Leslie J. Payne

born Fairport, VA 1907-died Kilmarnock, VA 1981
Also known as
  • "Old Airplane" Payne
  • "Airplane" Payne
Fairport, Virginia, United States
Kilmarnock, Virginia, United States
Active in
  • Lillian, Virginia, United States
  • American

After living in New Jersey and Baltimore during his early adult life, Payne returned at forty to his native Virginia, where he made a living as a handyman while devoting much of his spare time to building large- and small-scale airplane models from found materials. They were displayed in an elaborate yard show that included model boats, hand-painted commemorative signs, and whirligigs. Payne was deeply interested in machinery of flight, but he also loved ornament.

Tom Patterson Contemporary Folk Art: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (New York and Washington, D.C.: Watson-Guptill Publications, in cooperation with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2001)