OK, the whole reason we found the Doo Nanny was because wanted to go to Butch Anthony’s World Famous Alabama Museum of Wonder!
But I also wanted a piece of Butch Anthony’s art. I love his skeleton art over the old photographic portraits but I also love this little sketches. So what is the Museum of Wonder? It’s his studio. It’s a shed. It’s his place where all sorts of fun curiosities find a home. His art has moved from the side-show posters to these super cool drawings of people and animals! He’s, I guess you could call him, a sort of jack of all trades. And an extremely talented one at that! I love his art and his architecture. He builds buildings. He builds furniture. He draws, but he also makes pieces out of metal. And wood. And bones. he’s a restaurateur… Man!
Welcome to my tour of a very cool piece of the Outsider Art world!
Yep, that’s me in that very last picture holding our two purchases! And how funny is it that Butch’s friend and helper the day we were there looks almost exactly like him! Can you pick out the real Butch Anthony?? hehehe… Yep, he’s the one actually signing our pieces. I really wanted to keep both of them, but the big one was actually a gift for my brother-in-law. And he LOVED it!
So imagine my surprise as we’re walking up to the Doo Nanny and I see a sign with an arrow pointing north to a Quilt Show! What??? A Quilt Show? here?? So we kept looking for it and finally found it inside Anthony’s house! The quilt show was mostly quilt tops that had been collected by Butch Anthony. And they were for sale. I knew I was headed to Gee’s Bend, so I didn’t question the prices or anything like that. Of course, I’m now kicking myself for not asking more questions. Like where were they from? How much?? You know, things like that… Well, I said that they were for sale. Most were. But there was a collection on the porch that had been taken out of the sale pile by Butch’s girlfriend, Natalie Chanin… You probably know that name, huh??? Another amazing textile artist! hHpefully, next trip we can make it to her studio!
That paper pieced one was, I believe, from the 30’s based on the dates on the newspaper they used!
In the bottom left corner of the picture below can you see those t-shirts?? They must have been done by Alabama Chanin. You might be wondering right about now, why I didn’t take more pictures of her pieces… Well. When we got inside, I was so overwhelmed by the little house and the art and the quilts, that I totally didn’t pay attention to what I was doing. After I left, I was like, why didn’t I take a picture of this and that. And who was the woman I was talking to about the quilts?? She spoke about her daughter and her quilting… Who was her daughter?
The inside of the house was just eye candy… Check out that painted floor in the kitchen area. Love the painted floor!
More about our adventures tomorrow!