Cigar Box” Chest

  • Unidentified, "Cigar Box" Chest, ca. 1880-1920, painted, carved, and stained wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson, 1986.65.90

Tramp” art was created from old cigar boxes by tradesmen at the turn of the twentieth century. Craftsmen chip-carved the edges of pieces of wood and layered them together to create furniture, sculptures, and religious objects. The Crown of Thorns Construction (see 1998.84.52) is named because of the interlocking construction technique, which was supposed to represent Jesus’s crown when he was crucified (Helaine Fendelman, Tramp Art, 1975). These objects were not made by vagrants, but by traveling printers, carpenters, and cigar makers who tramped” from city to city advertising their skills (Lynda Hartigan, Made with Passion, 1990).

Title
Cigar Box” Chest
Artist
Date
ca. 1880-1920
Location
Dimensions
1912 786 38 in. (48.232.716.2 cm)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr. and museum purchase made possible by Ralph Cross Johnson

Mediums
Mediums Description
painted, carved, and stained wood
Classifications
Keywords
  • Animal – bird
Object Number
1986.65.90
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

Fish Decoy

20th century
carved, incised, pyroengraved, and stained wood; galvanized iron sheet; ferrous eye hook; lead weight; and glass eye

Fish Decoy

ca. 1900
carved and painted wood, painted tinned iron sheet, ferrous eye hook, painted brass screw eyes, lead weight, and painted leather

More Artworks from the Collection

Recently Viewed