Denzil Goodpaster

Denzil Goodpaster was born in the small town of Ezel, Kentucky. A  farmer for much of his life, in the 1970s he began to whittle and carve both functional and sculptural objects. Goodpaster is best known for his carved canes, but he also carved figures and animals he would have seen in his daily life. Typically painting his carved work, Goodpaster was known for his distinct, colorful style and often risqué subject matter visible on his canes including bathing nudes. His work created a standard of American folk canes that regional artists continue to aspire to today.


Related artists in KMAC's collection:


Garland Adkins, Minnie Adkins, Ernest Baker, Linvel Barker, Minnie Black, Marvin Finn, 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, Re-Animation: Turning Toys into Art


Reference material:

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



715 West Main Street

Louisville, Kentucky 40202



Wednesday - Saturday 10a-4p

Sunday-Tuesday CLOSED

Admission to KMAC is free for students and children thanks to a generous donation from

Brook and Pam Smith. KMAC is also supported in part by our members, The Fund for the Arts, and the Kentucky Arts Council. Our exhibitions are supported by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

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