On Sunday coming back from the Outer Banks on route 460 we stopped at the Miles B. Carpenter Museum in Waverly, VA.
In the 80s I used to drive by the Museum once a year, and saw all of Miles Carpenter‘s art out in the yard, but never took the time to stop. This past Sunday we stopped. We toured the entire first floor and most of the second floor and porch of the museum which is the house in which Carpenter lived entire life with his wife and where he did his work.
Each room was full of Mr. Carpenter’s art. Long snakes, monkey dogs, cows, water melons and various monsters and strange looking people. Mr Carpenter was a self taught artist and took up carving in the early 40s when the housing market took a hit and his lumber yard was mostly idle. World War II got things going again and he was not able to get back to his art until the 60s when he was trying to create a road side attraction to sell his ice chips and soda pop.
In the 70s when outsiders began to take notice of Carpenter’s unique talent, he gained some notoriety in Virginia as a folk artist. Carpenter died in 1985.
A nice surprise was that the current tour guide/curator of the museum is an old friend and artist, Damian Bennett. We didn’t realize we knew each other until the end of the tour, but the entire time I had a nagging feeling that I must know this guy. Turns out I did. Thanks, Damian!
Stop by this little jewel of a museum in Waverly, VA
The Miles B. Carpenter Museum
Route 460 – Waverly, VA
Thursday – Sunday 2:00 to 5:00 pm.