LLOYD "HOG" MATTINGLY
Lebanon Junction, Kentucky
October 4 - November 9, 2014
Brown-Forman Gallery, Third Floor
Lloyd “Hog” Mattingly (1923-2003) lived in Lebanon Junction in Bullitt County, Kentucky, and spent his working career as a brake repairman for the L&N Railroad. In 1970, in his spare time, he began creating architectural replicas made of paint, wood, and other simple materials. After he retired from the railroad in 1981, he began working full-time from his home workshop. “He got up early in the morning just like it was a place of business,” said his wife Julie in 1991. “The only place he was really happy was when he was out there. Sometimes when he got something on his mind, he got up in the middle of the night to work on it.” For nearly 30 years, Mattingly showed his work at heritage fairs and in local businesses and libraries in Bullitt County.
For Mattingly, creating the architectural models was an extension of his childhood. “It is something I carried over from boyhood days. I used to like to make things. All of us boys did,” Mattingly said. “When I was a boy, if you wanted a toy you had to make it yourself. We had just about anything to play with though.” In 1982, inspired by these childhood memories, Mattingly built more than 20 miniature replicas of historic buildings in the town of Lebanon Junction as they looked when he was a child. “My memories were catching up with me,” Mattingly said before his death in 2003. “I had to make the miniatures. Most of the stuff I make is old because that’s what I remember. I’m an old man. This modern stuff I don’t know nothing about.”
Unlike the familiar miniature towns created for model trains, Mattingly’s Lebanon Junction is not meant to simulate or recreate life with blinking lights, faux trees, and tiny people. Instead, Mattingly’s stark model buildings are like symbols and containers for memories. They undoubtedly house the people that populate his memories and the experiences he shared with them. They remind us of how physical places can be associated with our past and permeate the present.