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Minnie Adkins

Raised in the hills of Elliot County, Eastern Kentucky, Minnie Adkins is a self-taught woodcarver. She is best known for her animal collaborations with her husband, Garland, but she also incorporates figures and biblical scenes in her work. Together Minne and Garland sold their carved animals at craft shows and festivals up until Garland's death in 1997. Adkins continues to work with wood and, with her experience in painting and quilt-making, often treats her carved surfaces as a vehicle for expressing a lighthearted character.


She is an active presence in the folk art community, both in exhibitions and her own growing private collection. Adkins is an exemplary model of the local roots in which KMAC was founded, and with her intuitive method of making, she incorporates a sense of play often found in contemporary art.


Related artists in KMAC's collection:

Garland Adkins, Ernest Baker, Linvel Barker, Minnie Black, Marvin Finn, Denzil Goodpaster, Tim Hall, Larry Hamm, Alma Lesch, Erma "Junior" Lewis, Tim Lewis, Lloyd "Hog" Mattingly, Carl McKenzie, Earnest Patton, Donny Tolson


Click to view an archival list of all artists in the collection.


Recurring themes:

Agriculture, Domestic Life


KMAC exhibitions:

Hollers and Harvests


Reference material:

Crown, Carol, Cheryl Rivers, and University of Mississippi. The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture, Volume 23: Folk Art. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2013.


Laffal, Florence, and Julius Laffal. American Self-Taught Art: An Illustrated Analysis of 20th Century Artists and Trends with 1,319 Capsule Biographies. Jefferson: McFarland & Co., 2003.


Lavitt, Wendy. Animals in American Folk Art. New York: Knopf, 1990.


Moses, Kathy. Outsider Art of the South. Atglen: Schiffer Pub., 1999.


Swain, Adrian. Local Visions: Folk Art from Northeast Kentucky. Morehead, Ky.: Morehead State University, 1990.


Trechsel, Gail Andrews, Roger Cardinal, and Birmingham Museum of Art. Pictured in My Mind: Contemporary American Self-Taught Art from the Collection of Kurt Gitter and Alice Rae Yelen. Birmingham: Birmingham Museum of Art, 1995.

Black Horse

Black Horse

Wood and paint. Courtesy of Ann Miller.

Fox Quilt (detail)

Fox Quilt (detail)

Cotton, ink, and thread. Courtesy of the artist.

Momma Pig with Babies

Momma Pig with Babies

Wood and paint. Courtesy of the artist.

Large Red Fox

Large Red Fox

Wood and paint. Courtesy of Ann Tafel.

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