Donny Tolson

The youngest son of notorious sculptor and woodworker, Edgar Tolson, Donald (Donny) Lee Tolson was born in Campton, Kentucky. While his work is stylistically similar to his father’s, Donny’s carvings are often of a broader subject matter and are easily distinguishable from Edgar’s. A family of woodcarvers, the Tolsons use woodcarving as a means of interpreting biblical and traditional stories and bringing meaning to the lessons and morals they teach. Sometimes painting his carvings, the surfaces of the pieces in KMAC’s collection are bare, allowing the qualities of the figure itself to animate the material.

 

Related artists in KMAC's collection:

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

 

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

 

Recurring themes:

Agriculture, Class, Domestic Life, Spirituality 

 

KMAC exhibitions:

Hollers and Harvests, Re-Animation: Turning Toys into Art

 

Reference material:

Ardery, Julia S. The Temptation: Edgar Tolson and the Genesis of Twentieth-Century Folk Art. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1998.

 

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.

 

Pierce, James Smith, Larry Hackley, and Folk Art Society of Kentucky. God, Man and the Devil: Religion in Recent Kentucky Folk Art. Lexington: Folk Art Society of Kentucky, 1984.

Untitled (Devil with Pitchfork)

Untitled (Devil with Pitchfork)

Wood. Courtesy of Mary and Rev. Al Shands.

Jacob Wrestling the Angel

Jacob Wrestling the Angel

Wood. Courtesy of Mary and Rev. Al Shands.

STREET ADDRESS

715 West Main Street

Louisville, Kentucky 40202

502.589.0102

MUSEUM HOURS

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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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