Tramp Art Church

  • Unidentified, Tramp Art Church, 20th century, carved and layered and varnished wood, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr., 1998.84.43

Luce Center Label

"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
Tramp Art Church
Artist
Date
20th century
On View
Dimensions
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill, Jr.

Mediums Description
carved and layered and varnished wood
Classifications
Keywords
  • Architecture Exterior – religious – church
Object Number
1998.84.43
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

19th or 20th century
carved and painted wood
ca. 1850
watercolor on ivory
1760-1800
enamel and gilded metal

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carved, incised, and jigsawed wood
probably 20th century
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2012
cherry and photograph