DAVID BUTLER (1898-1997)
DAVID BUTLER (1898-1997)
DAVID BUTLER (1898-1997)
DAVID BUTLER (1898-1997)
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DAVID BUTLER (1898-1997)

Walking Stick with Figure, circa 1975

DAVID BUTLER (1898-1997)
Walking Stick with Figure, circa 1975
paint and found objects on cut metal with umbrella handle
33 3⁄4 in. high, 13 1⁄4 in. wide, 6 in. deep (including stand)
Acquired directly from the artist, 1976
Jane Livingston and John Beardsley, Black Folk Art in America 1930-1980 (Mississippi, 1982), cat. no. 48, ill. p.10.
Karla Albertson, Passionate Visions of the American South, Antiques and the Arts Weekly, December 17, 1993, p. 74.
New Orleans Museum of Art, David Butler, 13 February- 21 March 1976; New Orleans, Morgan City Municipal Auditorium, 11 April- 9 May 1976.
Belgrade, Yugoslavia, America Now: A Look at the Arts of the 70's, 13 June- 14 July; Zagreb, Yugoslavia, 6 September- 4 October 1979; Budapest, Hungary, 2 June- 28 June 1980; Bucharest, Romania, 1 September- 25 September 1980.
Washington D.C., Corcoran Gallery of Art, Black Folk Art in America 1930-1980, 15 Jan- 28 March; Louisville, Kentucky, J.B. Speed Museum, 26 April- 13 June; Brooklyn Museum of Art, 4 July- 12 September 1982; California, Los Angeles, Craft and Folk Art Museum, 30 November- 3 February 1983; Houston, Rice University, 4 March- 15 May 1983; Detroit Institute for the Arts, 10 July- 2 October; Birmingham, Alabama, Birmingham Museum of Art, 6 November- 26 December; Chicago, Illinois, Field Museum of Natural History, 26 December- 15 July 1984.
Baltimore, American Visionary Art Museum, We Are Not Alone: Angels and Other Aliens, 2 October 1999- 3 September 2000.

Brought to you by

Cara Zimmerman
Cara Zimmerman Head of Americana and Outsider Art

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Lot Essay

David Butler adorned his home and yard in Patterson, Louisiana with fantastical painted cut metal sculptures of animals, figures, and religious symbols. One of the finest examples of Butler’s work, the present lot was central to the landmark 1982 exhibition Black Folk Art in America 1930-1980, featuring prominently in the front of the accompanying catalogue. The work’s striding figure, adorned with found objects and paint-decorated with bold polka dots, shows Butler’s artistic prowess whilst incorporating and referencing the material culture of his community.

Once, I took him an old umbrella handle, thinking he might find some use for it in his artwork. Boy, did he ever know how to create comething out of that: the celebrating and much published figurative Walking Stick in my collection.
- William Fagaly on David Butler (William Fagaly, The Night Crawler King: Memoirs of an Art Museum Curator (University press of Mississippi, 2021), p. 84.)

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