Sunday, June 05, 2016

National Museum of Woodcarving, Custer, SD

 This afternoon the focus was not the ride but the destination.  The National Museum of Woodcarving sits at the west edge of Custer City, across town from our rv park on the eastern side.  The Museum concept is to display some of the best woodcarvings in the nation for the public to see and appreciate.  One half of the Museum is dedicated to the preservation of the collection of Dr. Harley Niblack.  He retired from chiropractics to spend the rest of his life to create wood carvings, working miniature steam engines, paintings, furniture, and whatever his artistic bent led him to do.  He developed three-dimensional animation.  Three of his animated scenes appeared in the Smithsonian Institute.  He also designed and built animation at Disneyland.  The Museum, which houses the  Niblack Collection, a display of top caricatures and carvings, a carving studio and a gallery of the works of over 85 woodcarvers, has been rated one of the top attractions in the Black Hills.

Dr. Niblack was a talented serious carver.

He carved several famous people.

He infused humor and whimsy into many of his carvings.

I love this bird house complete with mailbox and street lamp. 

Bit of a pun on an outhouse door.

Furniture he carved and used in his house.  Note the horse hooves on the desk legs and the cowboy boots on the chair legs.

Dr. Niblick's two greatest loves were working miniature engines and

caricature carvings.  Of the 36 exhibits in his collection, 26 of them are caricatures and 13 of those are animated.

Duane liked this surgical scene.  The patient is "out" and the doctor is consulting a do-it-yourself manual.

Many of the displays attempted to capture the world in which Dr. Niblack grew up.  In this animated scene, the windmill turns and two men are sawing a log.  In the front right are two men bending over a log.  The one on the right whacks the log with a stick.  A skunk sticks its head out and the one on the left attempts to hit it with a stick.  He always misses.  These displays are animated by pushing a button or by putting a wooden nickel (or a quarter) in a slot.  Wooden nickels provided with your paid admission.

The Museum Gallery showcased the work of woodcarvers who come to the Museum during the summer, while others ship their work from their own studios around the U.S.  most forms of woodcarving are represented, from caricature to realistic, animal to human, 2-d to relief, hand carved, power carved, laser carved, etc.  These unique pieces are for sale. 

A sharp wit was present in this room.

Awsome work!

Of course, on the day we didn't stray far from home, the wind, unlike yesterday's gale that blew us around the Badlands, was very calm.  

Tomorrow is a chore day, but I will still have pix for you to view. 

Louise and Duane

1 comment:

Paul and Marsha Weaver OCT. 17, 2009 said...

Oh my gosh. I bet Duane felt like he was in heaven. How the heck did we miss the place? Awesome photos.