Carvings & Sculpture


From whittling to fine art, and through various categories now called self-taught art, outsider art, vernacular art, found art, homemade, handmade, make-do, or recycled art. We show work that can be regarded as sculpture, whatever the original intent of the maker.

Part of the search is to see something that might have been intended for another use, and view it in a new way. The Ames Gallery’s carving and sculpture category has included shop front figures of various sizes and styles, ventriloquist’s dummies, carnival targets and knockdowns, carved pipes, canes and walking sticks. We also show work by contemporary artists whiling away their retirement years, and pieces of playthings now broken but retaining an integrity that we find beautiful.

Early American folk art has traditionally included such individually made items as life sized trade figures (e.g. the “cigar store Indian”), weathervanes, carved shop signs, birdhouses and the like. We now expand this category to include some early industrial items that retain design features that are pleasing: collections of wooden forms for stockings and mittens, the early forms for dressmakers mannequins, dolls that might have been partially mass-produced but show quirkily individual additions or adaptations.

Often, we see sculptural qualities in the parts remaining from earlier pieces. . . remembrances of a time before mass production, when many objects were handmade or homemade, with distinct personalities. Even a small fragment can have artistic worth. We love to find and preserve these wonderful pieces.

[ View our Carvings & Sculptures ]