Saturday, August 2, 2014

Lucas, Kansas

We decided to explore a little of Kansas on our way to Oregon.  First stop, Lucas, Kansas, and the Garden of Eden.

It is as bizarre/interesting as billed.  I did not really know what a grassroot artist is, so the first thing we learned was that a grassroot artist is one who has not had any formal training.  Looking at the figures in the sculptures, I would agree with that assessment.  But that lack of training does not diminish the value of the artistry.

What intrigued me more than the art work was the political thought behind his work.  He was a man before his time.  One of the works puts men, women, and African Americans all on a level playing field, each deserving the right to vote.  Although that is a given now, when he built the sculpture, it was a very forward-thinking idea. 

He mixed a variety of religious motifs and ideas for his Biblical sculptures, and he included some of those in his political ones as well.  He was not a humble man, however.  His huge mausoleum, built for him and his wife, even has a glass pane in his casket so that anyone can see him. 

I found the Dunsmore home to be a combination of interesting, frightening, and maddening.  Amazing that one man could cause all of those emotions within a span of 30 minutes.

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