LEVI FISHER AMES, WI
Levi Fisher Ames, A Monstrous Sea Serpent/The Dreaded Hellico-Bentum (details, installation views of the L. F. Ames Museum of Art), c. 1870–1900; carved wood, graphite, ink, paper, fabric, glass, metal hinges. John Michael Kohler Arts Center Collection.
Levi Fisher Ames decided to make his environment portable. A Civil War soldier, musician, carpenter, maker of musical instruments, prolific woodcarver, and animated storyteller, Ames hand carved his own impressive menagerie of over 600 domestic, wild, and mythical animals, carefully encasing each in a glass-fronted folding box. He exhibited them at regional fairs as a comprehensive sideshow in the belief that they needed to be seen as an interrelated work and that his storytelling was a central component of the whole.
SUBLIME SPACES & VISIONARY WORLDS
Levi Fisher Ames: Menagerie