Untitled

  • Albert "Kid" Mertz, Untitled, ca. 1980, painted railroad spikes, Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Margaret Z. Robson Collection, Gift of John E. and Douglas O. Robson, 2016.38.42

After retiring from a career as an automotive die cutter, Albert Kid” Mertz turned to painting and sculpting. He covered his modest Michigan home — which he variously called Owl’s Rest,” Owl’s Roost,” and Al’s Roost” — with polka dots, stripes, and colorful embellishments. He painted objects as well, including hundreds, possibly thousands of railroad spikes he had collected from tracks near his property, giving each spike a cheerful face. Unlike some art environments, Mertz’s space was not intended for performance, protection, or preaching; it was simply a place for the artist to creatively transform, and for visitors to delight in.
(We Are Made of Stories: Self-Taught Artists in the Robson Family Collection, 2022)
Title
Untitled
Artist
Date
ca. 1980
Location
Dimensions
weight: approx. 1087 lb. (493.1 kg)
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Margaret Z. Robson Collection, Gift of John E. and Douglas O. Robson

Mediums Description
painted railroad spikes
Classifications
Keywords
  • Object – tool – hardware
Object Number
2016.38.42
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

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