(1898 - 1979)
|Collins Eisenhauer was born in 1898 in Lunenburg County. After he retired in 1964 he started carving swans and geese which he put on the lawn outside his house. His later work included carvings of birds, animals and people including four life sized carvings of politicians and a life-sized self portrait. He also carved several erotic pieces which he kept hidden under the work bench in his carving shed. His work is found in the collections of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, and in corporate and private art collections throughout the world.
While he started to carve in 1964, Collie was not discovered until the early 1970s when an antique dealer was picking in the area and noticed the swans and geese on his lawn. For a short time after his discovery, Collins signed his work “Collins Eisener”, apparently at the suggestion of the dealer, so that he would not be bothered by people looking for his work. When he was filmed by CBC television in 1973, the program was entitled “Woodcarver, Collins Eisener”. After coming to the attention of Chris Huntington, the “father” of Nova Scotia folk art, he resumed signing his work “Collins Eisenhauer”. When referring to the original group of Nova Scotia folk artists he discovered in the early 1970s, Huntington has written that “Collins Eisenhauer was singled out as the great master among other brilliant contemporaries.” That group of artists formed the basis for the first ever exhibition of contemporary folk art curated by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, which travelled across Canada in 1976. Collins died in 1979.
Ref: Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Folk Art of Nova Scotia (1976); National Museum of Man, From the Heart Folk Art in Canada (1983); Kobayashi/Bird, A Compendium of Canadian Folk Artists (1985); Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Folk Art - Canada's Cultural Heritage (1989); Canadian Museum of Civilization, Just for Nice; German-Canadian Folk Art (1993); Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, A Life of Its Own – Chris Huntington and the Resurgence of Nova Scotia Folk Art 1975 – 1995 (1997); Philip Tilney, Bill Richardson, This Other Eden: Canadian Folk Art Outdoors (1999); Blake McKendry, An Illustrated Companion to Canadian Folk Art (1999).
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