Miles Burkholder Carpenter, Devil on a Root Monster, 1974, leather, wood, paint, fur, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment, 1997.124.54A-C
The primary colors and awkward carving in Devil on a Root Monster create a folk piece that is both fiendish and funny. Miles Carpenter would gather roots and branches from around his home in Waverly, Virginia, and carve them into fantastic monsters, allowing the natural shape of the wood to inspire his pieces as he transformed knots into faces and thin branches into legs. After carving and sanding the wood, Carpenter painted each sculpture with bright enamel paints from the hardware store.
Luce Object Quote"If I had a root or a piece of wood that looked odd, I thought, well, I’ll make it look odd because maybe the people will think more of it than if it was a real natural looking piece." Carpenter, quoted in Gregson, Miles Carpenter: The Wood Carver form Waverly, exhibition catalogue, 1985
Devil on a Root Monster
- On View
- Not on view.
overall: 26 3/4 x 29 3/4 x 10 1/2 in. (67.9 x 75.6 x 26.7 cm.)
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of Chuck and Jan Rosenak and museum purchase through the Luisita L. and Franz H. Denghausen Endowment
- Fantasy – monster
- Religion – Satan
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- Linked Open Data URI