Minnie Adkins
(1934 - )

 

Minnie Adkins and Herman PetersThe best known artists in Kentucky, Minnie Adkins and her husband Garland (1928 - 1997) acquired their reputations through skilled animal carving and by giving generous assistance to their neighbors in developing art careers of their own. After living for many years in Ohio, the couple returned to their Kentucky home in the 1980's, at which time Minnie took up carving full time. Minnie is famous for her red foxes, possums, bears, tigers and roosters. Garland helped Minnie with her carvings, roughing out and drying pieces in a wood-fueled smoke house. He also became well known for a stylized horse that he carved and finished himself.

For several years on the last day of June, Minnie and Garland hosted a picnic in Happy Gizzard Holler, near Isonville, KY, which they called "A Day in the Country". This celebration attracted friends, collectors and dealers from all over. Minnie has continued it since Garland's death in 1997, as she promised him she would do.

In 1992 Minnie Adkins became the first recipient of the Jane Morton Norton Award from the Centre College in Danville, Ky. 1n 1993, she received the Award of Distinction from the Folk Art Society of America, as well as the Award for Leadership in Arts and Culture from the Eastern Kentucky Leadership Foundation, and a fellowship from the Kentucky Arts Council. In 1994, she was presented with the Appalachian Treasure award from Morehead State University. In January 1998, Kentucky Governor Paul Patton presented to Minnie the prestigious Individual Artist Award, Governor's Awards in the Arts, in recognition of her contributions to art and artists. Also in 1998 she and Garland were awarded honorary doctoral degrees from Morehead State University, and in the same year a gallery at the Kentucky Folk Art Centre in Morehead, KY, was named after them. Their work can be found in the permanent collections of Morehead State University, the Kentucky Folk Art Centre, the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro, Kentucky, the Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, West Virginia and the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles.

In July, 1999, Minnie married Herman Peters, who, after looking at one of Minnie's small blue roosters, decided to make one out of metal. He eventually constructed a 10 foot blue metal rooster that now graces the courtyard at the Huntington Museum of Art in Huntington, West Virginia. A similar rooster can be found at the Kentucky Folk Art Centre.

Exhibitions:

"Local Visions: Folk Art from Northeast Kentucky", Morehead, KY (1990)
"Something Big: The Art of Minnie and Garland Adkins", Morehead, KY (1994)

Bibliography:

Contemporary American Folk Art - A Collector's Guide, Rosenak (1996); When I Win The Doctor Thing, Folk Art Messenger, Folk Art Society of America (1998); Self Taught, Outsider and Folk Art, Sellen (2000); Bloom Where You Are Planted, Dr. Minnie Evon Adkins (2000)

 

Minnie Adkins Rooster

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