Devil on a Root Monster

  • 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

Luce Center Label

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
Title
Devil on a Root Monster
Artists
Date
1974
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
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

Mediums
Classifications
Keywords
  • Fantasy – monster
  • Religion – Satan
Object Number
1997.124.54A-C
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI