Butch Anthony and the Alabama Museum of Wonder

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!

The Doo Nanny!

Oh yeah! Have you been to the Doo-Nanny? Do you know where Seale, AL is??? If you answered no to both of those questions, it’s understandable. So did I a month or so ago! Even both of my parents, who grew up in AL, had no idea where Seale is!!

I’ve kinda mentioned that my husband and I collect Outsider and Southern Folk Art. We love it! When we had to change our yearly trip to Bama from May to April, at first we were kinda bummed. But as it got closer , of course, we got excited. We had realized that Butch Anthony’s Museum of Wonder wasn’t all that far away from my Dad’s house (ok, about an hour and half away. Not too far, right??). So we decided that we’d stop in and say hello and check it out! Yea!!

And then we realized we were headed there the same time as the Doo Nanny! So we rescheduled a few things to make sure we were there for the DooNanny.

So what is the Doo Nanny?? Well, it’s a little bit of everything we found out! Music, Art, art cars, fun people, fun people dressed funny, food, bonfires, camping, quilts… A little bit of everything!

The art is why we went, but we enjoyed the day just taking it all in!

The girl with the wig.. I believe she’s Jen from Jen and the Juice. for some reason my son was convinced she was a boy. I, on the other hand, am convinced she is a girl! So we played a little game of ‘She’s a Girl, He’s a Boy!’ the game goes a little like this, I say, ‘She’s a girl.’ He says, ‘He’s a boy.’ and back and forth and back and forth and back and forth… You get the idea!

The bottom picture is my son in front of the Emerge-N-See Mobile Visionary Unit by Robert Seven aka Mister Doctor Professor!

That’s me and my son in front of Miz Thang’s trailer. And I think that might be her guitar as well.

I loved this Heaven and Hell car by Chris Hubbard!

And of course the cute boys in my life in front of more art!

I wasn’t completely on the ball and writing down everyone and everything I saw, so I might be missing some links. If there is anything you see here that needs a link or there’s a better link to it, please let me know!

More on this, tomorrow!