20th C. Art
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KIRTIE Cutwork Picture
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"KIRTIE" Cutwork Picture - Sold
By John Brown Walker, Ohio, Probably Third Quarter 19th Century
Paper, gold foil paper and colored paper
14.75 x 11.75 inches

Surmounted by a banner inscribed "KIRTIE", the scene symmetrically cut with flowers, leaves, roosters, birds and horses, all flanking a central photograph of a boy and his dog, with gold foil and colored paper inserts.

This elaborate and symmetrical cutout picture is a superlative example of the work of John Brown Walker (1815-1908), an itinerant artist who worked in rural areas of Michigan, Northeastern Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. Brown followed an international and long-standing tradition of paper cutting (ie., the Polish "Wycinaki", the Chinese "Hua Yang", the Japanese "Kirigami" and the German and Swiss "Scherenschnitte".) The art form saw a rise in popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries, when paper and scissors became more readily available. Walker was unusual in that he used a knife; this suggests he may have been trained as a stencil cutter. The intricacy of the piece demonstrates his superior ability and elevates this piece from simply a decorative token to a masterpiece of folk art.

For more information on Walker, and other similar examples, see Your Wellwishes, J.B. Walker: A Midwestern Paper Cut-Out Artist, Michigan State University Museum, (Lansing, 1979).

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Austin T. Miller American Antiques deals in American Folk Art, Americana, and Antique Folk Art. Valuation services and consignment sales are available for rare and important antique folk art, artwork, textiles, or antique furniture. Commonly sought items from within our American Folk Art Collection are antique weathervanes, whirligigs and folk art paintings. Austin T. Miller American Antiques has decades of expertise in rare outsider and naive art, as well as specific interests in paint decorated and antique furniture, baskets, and hooked rugs. For consignment sales inquiries, please use the contact link on this site or call during business hours.
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