ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Notches, facets and layers carve the key ingredients to “tramp art.”
Mention the term and most of us conjure images of hobos carving pieces of wood with dirty pocket knives as they rides the rails during the Great Depression.
Opening at Santa Fe’s Museum of International Folk Art on March 12, “No Idle Hands: The Myths & Meanings of Tramp Art” seeks to shatter that stereotype through the display of more than 150 objects ranging from elaborate clocks to altars, dressers and satchels. The show marks the first large-scale exhibition of its kind since 1975. It concentrates on American works, with additional examples from France, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Mexico, Canada and Brazil. It includes the works of five artists carving today, including one from New Mexico.
The name “tramp art” is largely a misnomer, museum curator Laura Addison said.