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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Objects and Artifacts - Communication Artifacts - Original Art - Sculpture - Novelty

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Showing 1 - 6 of 6 (results per page: 10 | 25 | 50)


Bottle whimsy

Bottle whimsy
Creator: Frederick I. Douglas
Date: between 1927 and 1933
Carved figure inside a glass bottle, depicting a slave on an auction block. The figure was carved by Frederick I. Douglas to represent a story passed down by his father, Thomas O. Douglas, who had been sold in a similar manner in Tennessee. Thomas Douglas was an Exoduster who settled in Wabaunsee County in 1879. His son Frederick's carvings won ribbons when exhibited at a Topeka fair in 1927.


Bottle whimsy

Bottle whimsy
Creator: Frederick I. Douglas
Date: between 1927 and 1933
Corked clear-glass milk bottle containing a carved wooden figure symbolizing the plantation life endured by the artist's father. The artist was Frederick I. Douglas (1871-1933), born in Wabaunsee County, Kansas, and the son of a former slave. Douglas worked as a gristmill operator and chauffeur. Late in life, he took up the craft of assembling sculptures in bottles, a form of folk art known as a bottle whimsy. Douglas began carving in 1927 and died in 1933.


Bottle whimsy

Bottle whimsy
Creator: Frederick I. Douglas
Date: 1927
Corked clear-glass milk bottle filled a wooden structure made to resemble a Masonic symbol and painted blue. The artist was Frederick I. Douglas (1871-1933), born in Wabaunsee County, Kansas, and the son of a former slave. Douglas worked as a gristmill operator and chauffeur. Late in life, he took up the craft of assembling sculptures in bottles, a form of folk art known as a bottle whimsy. Douglas began carving in 1927 and died in 1933.


Hand-carved sculpture

Hand-carved sculpture
Date: between 1945 and 1950
After returning home at the end of World War II, several German POWs sent wood carvings to Ernest Sibberson, a local Lutheran pastor, in thanks for his kindness to them during their forced stay in Topeka. Sibberson, who had immigrated to the United States as a teenager, was a native of Germany and spoke the language well. He regularly visited the POWs and held religious services for them at Winter General Hospital.


Hand-carved sculpture

Hand-carved sculpture
Date: between 1945 and 1950
After returning home at the end of World War II, several German POWs sent wood carvings to Ernest Sibberson, a local Lutheran pastor, in thanks for his kindness to them during their forced stay in Topeka. Sibberson, who had immigrated to the United States as a teenager, was a native of Germany and spoke the language well. He regularly visited the POWs and held religious services for them at Winter General Hospital.


Prisoner doll

Prisoner doll
Date: between 1910 and 1920
This 22-inch-tall wood and cloth figure, affectionately known as "Flatty" Ingram, was made by prisoners in the Kansas State Penitentiary at Lansing, probably between 1910 and 1920. The wooden head was carved to resemble the real-life repeat Lansing inmate Mike Ryan, alias William "Flatty" Ingram. "Flatty" was made by the prisoners as a humorous gift for Bedford Wood, a career police officer from Wichita, Ryan's hometown.


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