Last post from this museum for a while.
I always find any exhibit fascinating, and whenever you learn something about the piece, the artist's vision becomes more clear.
This is the Tree House by the same artist.
I missed taking a photo of the information on the above sculpture, but I found the website here. If you scroll down you will see it. It has a fascinating description of how Mr. Cross found his materials. The other works of art and their process are just as interesting. The following tells you its history and I will type all of it as it is written on the website.
"Fig 9. Tree House by Robert L. Cross (American, born 1926), Winchester, VA, 1966-1974. Mixed media. Collection of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, 2015.10.3, gift of Robert L. Cross. Photo by Rick Foster." (the photo on the website, not the one above which is one I took).
"Because locust is an extremely dense wood and thus difficult to work, Cross purposefully looked for stumps that had already been hollowed out by termites. Of the termites, Cross recalls: "We all worked together. They helped me on the inside and I did my work on the outside." I once asked Cross if he had made sure that all of the termites had left the stumps before bringing them into his house. His reply? No, but he probably should have.
On both stump sculptures, Cross ingeniously used the contours of the wood to his advantage. Small openings in the bark became opportunities for fully-movable windows and doors. A large branch shoot and the top of the trunk on the Stump Map became the locations for the states of Alaska and Hawaii, which do not touch the U.S. mainland. One of the deepest crevices in the wood became the spot in which the two sides of the map converge, marked by a red line dividing the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans."
There is a photo of another tree house - see here - - first and tenth photo - when Mr. Cross talks about Alaska and Hawaii.
I found the above information at the museum's blog which you can find if you click on this link.
I must have shaken the camera when taking a photo of this description as it came out blurry. To save your eyesight I typed it for you.
Forestville, Shenandoah County, Virginia
2017 09.1 gift of Nancy Branner Stewart in honor of Naomi Kibler(?)"
I could barely read the last paragraph in this description, and as I don't want to get any facts wrong, I will leave it until my next visit. I was unable to find any more information online.
Few belongings of the Valley's enslaved population survive. This doll may be an exception. In the 1940s, while playing in a cabin on the Branner family farm mear Forestville, two young girls found this doll in a hidden nook. A century earlier this cabin had served as the farm's slave quarters. An enslaved person living in the cabin probably made the doll."
By the time we got to these interesting rooms, we had to quicken our pace as it was time to meet our son. No further information from here. Next time we go back I will enjoy seeing the museum at a more leisurely pace.