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 Calvin Black  (1903 - 1972)

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Lived/Active: California/Tennessee      Known for: sculptor-wooden dolls

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Ad Code: 3
Calvin Black
from Auction House Records.
Possum Trot Figure
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Born in Tennessee, he married Ruby in 1933, and they lived most of their lives in Southern California, near Yermo, on land they purchased in 1953.  They opened a gift shop and finding themselves on a main road, created a miniature amusement part which they called "Possum Trot."  It had wind-driven constructions, and the heart of the exhibition was the "Bird Cage Theatre," with a fantasy doll show.

Calvin carved and painted about seventy dolls, 3 to 4 feet in height, from materials from the local dump.  Ruby dressed them in scraps from old clothing, and treated like their children, each seemed to have a unique personality.

Additional information from Sheila Panzone:
I knew Calvin and Ruby Black personally as a child.  Cal and Ruby lived near Yermo in Southern California on the main road heading to Calico Ghost Town.  Cal and Ruby had no children so my brother, sister and I were like grand children to them.  We visited them often at Possum Trot, about one weekend a month.

Cal carved a life size doll named "Mary" after my mother Mary Garrett.  All of Cal's dolls were life sized with the exception of (3) dolls known to exist that are approx. 12" in height.  One doll is owned by me, one by my sister and one is owned by another friend of Cal and Ruby's.  The dolls have jointed arms and legs and the dresses were made by Ruby.  My doll has yellow hair and a calico dress.  My sister's doll is brunette and her dress is blue.

Cal and Ruby Black are buried in Daggett, California.

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