Steve Ashby

© 1973 Kenneth A. Fadeley; Originally photographed by Chuck Rosenak. Image is courtesy of the Chuck and Jan Rosenak research material, 1990-1999, in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Steve Ashby
Delaplane, Virginia 1904
Delaplane, Virginia 1980
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Artist Biography

"I wake up with an idea that won't let me get back to sleep. So I get up and make that idea." Steve Ashby converted most of his ideas into objects in the early 1960s after his wife had died and he retired from his years of work as a farm hand and gardener. Ashby's favorite subjects were figures and animals, often inspired by the agrarian activities of Fauquier County, Virginia, where his ancestors had been slaves. Some of his figures were wind-activated to perform various activities that ranged from the domestic to the pornographic. Others include parts that move when handled.

Lynda Roscoe Hartigan Made with Passion: The Hemphill Folk Art Collection in the National Museum of American Art (Washington, D.C. and London: National Museum of American Art with the Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990)

Works by This Artist

incised, painted and assembled wood
ca. late 1960s
painted and carved wood with cloth
ca. 1973
carved and painted pine, found objects
ca. 1973
carved and painted plywood, found objects, magazine cutouts
ca. late 1960s
painted and unpainted wood, cotton, nylon, steel saw blade, and paper
ca. 1973
carved and painted wood, found materials
ca. 1977
wood, cloth, paint, metal, hair, string, and nuts
carved wood with applied wood pieces