David Butler

(1898 - 1997 )

 

David Butler's career as an artist commenced in his late forties when he was injured while working at a sawmill. He started to cut shapes from tin using hammers, chisels, screwdrivers and anything else that worked. He then painted them with enamel and placed them around his house. His work includes pieces inspired by bible stories and fantasy creatures, and windmills and whirlygigs incorporating his metal cutouts. He also covered the windows of his little house outside of Patterson, LA, with sheets of tin perforated with patterns, which created patterns of light in the interior. One of his favorite motifs was a four-pointed star reminiscent of Haitian and African art.

David Butler has been the subject of many articles and papers, and his work has appeared in numerous gallery and museum exhibitions. His work is in the permanent collections of the New Orleans Museum of Art, the American Folk Art Museum, the Akron Art Museum, the Museum of International Folk Art

David Butler's environment was dismantled completely after illness forced him to move in with his sister in 1983.

Exhibitions:

New Orleans Museum of Art (1976)
"Black Folk Art in America 1930-1980", Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C. (1982)

Bibliography:

Contemporary American Folk Art - A Collector's Guide, Chuck and Jan Rosenak (1996)
Self Taught, Outsider and Folk Art, Betty-Carol Sellen (2000)

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David Butler Fish David Butler Jonah and the Whale
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