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Archway with Cross and Sleeping Dogs

Description

"One of Wickham’s first concrete constructions, this monumental archway (measuring 16 feet high, 20 feet wide) marked a service road that led back behind the cabin on the south side of the road. The tall arch was crowned with a concrete cross, later decorated with lights, and always topped with a lighted star at Christmas time. The phenomenon of defining one’s property with a functional, yet elaborate construction like this is common in the history of self-taught art. S. P. Dinsmoor and Fred Smith created similar entrances to their sculpture gardens at The Garden of Eden in Lucas, Kansas and the Wisconsin Concrete Park in Phillips, Wisconsin, respectively.

Later Wickham would place statues of two sleeping hound dogs at the base of the archway, which served as passive guardians of the property. The base of the statues clearly labels the dogs. Selma, who lies on her left side, was registered as no. 98120, owned by E.T. Wickham. Susa-Sherry, also a registered hunting dog, no.28121, belonged to nephew Omer Wickham. Wickham’s concrete dogs were removed to the sculpture department at Austin Peay State University with the permission of the Wickham family in 1981. The dogs were then restored by adjunct art department faculty Ned Crouch for presentation at the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville Tennessee. The dogs are now a prominent feature of the fourth floor hallway in APSU’s Trahern Building."- quoted text is from the 2001 Customs House Museum Online Wickham Exhibit.

Picture Gallery
(Click on image for larger view)

Archway and dogs E.T. Wickham and Hound Susa Selma at Ausin Peay State University Susa at Austin Peay State University
Archway and Sleeping Dogs E.T. Wickham and Hound Susa Selma at Ausin Peay State University Susa at Austin Peay State University

 

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