Monday, March 1, 2010

Field Trip: Wisconsin

Wisconsin has a long tradition of roadside "outsider" art -- from Roman Catholic grottoes filled with geodes to concrete animals to forest murals. For over thirty years, the Wisconsin-based Kohler Foundation (yep, the household faucets people) has assisted in conserving the works of Wisconsin's (and other states) quirky self-taught artists including Emery Blagdon, Billie Logan and Ellie Reed, and Fred Smith.

My favorite Wisconsin site (image above) is located in the back of Delaney's Junkyard. Considered the world's largest scrap metal sculpture and incorporating bits from Wisconsin breweries and munition factories, Dr. Evermor's Forevertron is the machine by which the imaginative may listen to celestial music. Surrounded by hybrid ornithological-musical creatures, the Forevertron stands over fifty feet tall and is surmounted by an egg-shaped space capsule. Tom Every, a Wisconsin native and demolition expert, created the pseudo-Victorian fantasia along with his alternative persona, a nineteenth-century scientist named "Dr. Evermor."

Read Jeffrey Hayes's homage to the demolitions preservationist here.

Image above: "Power Station" from Dr. Evermor's Forevertron outside Baraboo (North Freedom Township), Wisconsin. Posted on Wikimedia Commons at

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