The Landmark Project: CHL# 939

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CHL# 939 Twentieth Century Folk Art Environments (Thematic) – OLD TRAPPER’S LODGE

Old Trapper’s Lodge is one of California’s remarkable Twentieth Century Folk Art Environments. It represents the life work of John Ehn (1897-1981), a self-taught artist who wished to pass on a sense of the Old West, derived from personal experiences, myths, and tall tales. From 1951 to 1981, using his family as models, and incorporating memorabilia, the ‘Old Trapper’ followed his dreams and visions to create the Lodge and its ‘Boot Hill.’

Descriptions of each landmark are from the California Office of Historical Preservation website.

Christine’s Note: This is one of those landmarks where I wonder how they ended up on the list.  I can’t figure out what historical value or example of pioneering art this falls into.  I do find part of the story about their upkeep amusing, though.  The college where they currently sit does not provide any upkeep to the statues.  Someone just magically shows up when they need a good cleaning. 

I am going to break my one picture per landmark rule and provide a couple more of the statues, just in case someone more familiar with folk art is interested.  I am not, however, going to include the two statues that portrayed Native Americans in a negative light.  Those two statues really bothered me, and I prefer not to give those any attention.

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