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 Miles Burkholder Carpenter  (1889 - 1985)

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Lived/Active: Virginia/Pennsylvania      Known for: folk art figure wood carvings

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Ad Code: 3
AskART Artist
from Auction House Records.
Waverly Monster
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Miles Burkholder Carpenter had a diverse wood carving practice, which incorporated both time-honored techniques and a keen comic eye for the condition of modernity. Born in 1889 in Brownstown, Pennsylvania, a deeply traditional Pennsylvania Dutch community, the artist moved with his family to Waverly, Virginia, in 1901, where he remained for the remainder of his life. After working at his father’s sawmill through his youth, Carpenter struck out on his own at age twenty-three, first with his own lumber business (and forays into summer theater), and, beginning in 1955, as the proprietor of a roadside ice, beverage, and produce market.

Although he began making small carvings in the 1940s, Carpenter dedicated himself more seriously to his art in the 1960s, first in entrepreneurial spirit, to create signage for his store, and then in profound sadness, following his wife’s death in 1966. Many of his pieces stood in the flatbed of his truck next to his store (a building that still stands as a museum in honor of the artist). His subjects range from watermelon wedges, to farm animals and fantastic creatures, to portraits of family members and “Indians,” to appropriated advertising and pop cultural imagery. Always evident in his artwork is the playful sense of humor that also appears in his 1982 autobiography, Cutting the Mustard. Carpenter’s sculptures came to the attention of the mainstream art world in 1972.
 

Select Solo Exhibitions:

"Miles Carpenter: A Retrospective, 1940-1982: Forty-Two Years of Fanciful Carving". The Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Newport News, VA, 1982

"Miles Carpenter: The Woodcarver from Waverly". Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 1985.

"Miles B. Carpenter. Hand Workshop", Richmond, VA, 1989

"One Hundred Miles: The 100th Anniversary of Miles Carpenter". The Miles B. Carpenter Museum, Waverly, VA, 1989.

"Miles Carpenter: A Second Century". Flossie Martin Gallery, Radford, VA, 1990.
 
Compiled by Samantha Mitchell

Source:
"Artist Profile-Miles B. Carpenter", START-foundation for self taught artists, //foundationstart.org/artists/miles-carpenter/


This biography from the Archives of AskART:
One of the 20th century's most important folk ar carvers, he was born in West Earl Township, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania near Lititz, as the 8th child  of Wayne Carpenter and Elizabeth Burkholder Carpenter.  About 1910-1912 his family moved to Waverly, Virginia where his father ran a sawmill.  From 1912 to 1957, Miles ran a sawmill.  In 1940, he began a more than forty year career of carving hand painted creatures. His subjects were humans, animals and Biblical characters.

Ancestral information provided by John R. Carpenter of La Mesa, California.


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