Tramp art: A Folk art Phenomenon

Overview

Long stored away in attics and basements, tramp art holds a unique place in the canon of American folk art. Primitive yet astoundingly intricate in their construction, these decorative objects are made through a process of layering elaborately notched pieces of wood to create ornate and multidimensional surfaces for boxes, picture frames, and other tabletop items, as well as full-sized furniture pieces. Created during the Great Depression by itinerants, tramp art was often traded for food. All of the wood used ...
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Overview

Long stored away in attics and basements, tramp art holds a unique place in the canon of American folk art. Primitive yet astoundingly intricate in their construction, these decorative objects are made through a process of layering elaborately notched pieces of wood to create ornate and multidimensional surfaces for boxes, picture frames, and other tabletop items, as well as full-sized furniture pieces. Created during the Great Depression by itinerants, tramp art was often traded for food. All of the wood used was scrap and discard, mostly from wooden cigar boxes. Though there were never any written instructions, the technique for construction was apparently passed on like a secret family recipe.

Tramp Art: A Folk Art Phenomenon and the resulting exhibition consists of newly discovered pieces, many of them rare and unique, all of them significant. The catalog will also include photographs of historic precursors to and European examples of the craft.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Tramp art, a style of wood carving that was especially popular during the early part of this century, is misleadingly named. Although some itinerant people practiced this decorative skill, it is more a sedentary folk tradition handed down from father to son. In tramp art, the artist uses a penknife to cut simple V-shaped notches into the edges of scrap wood, generally cigar boxes. The wood is then glued, layered, and assembled into utilitarian objects for the home, e.g., picture frames, jewelry boxes, and furniture trim. Until recently, tramp art was overlooked by all but a few experts such as Fendelman, a contributor to Country Living magazine and cohost of the National television program Treasures in Your Attic, and Taylor, a collector and professional photographer long fascinated with tramp art. The book is filled with high-quality color illustrations and contains everything known about the subject. Recommended for antiques collections in public libraries.--Susan M. Olcott, Columbus Coll. of Art & Design, OH Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556709050
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 6/1/1999
  • Pages: 159
  • Product dimensions: 10.11 (w) x 8.04 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword 8
Introduction 10
Evolution of a Passion 15
What Is Tramp Art? 26
What's in a Name? 40
Evolution of the Art 60
The Artists 90
How Tramp Art Was Made 106
An Unwritten Legacy 130
The Continuing Tradition 156
Notes 158
Bibliography 159
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