Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum
326 West Francis Street
Williamsburg, VA 23185
(757) 220-7554 |

Tramp Art

Tramp Art

March 1, 2015

Explore this intriguing art form through the study of six objects ranging from a seven-foot-tall cheval glass to a doll-sized roll-top desk in the David and Mary Peebles Gallery.

Notch or chip carving required few tools and little training. In the most common form of tramp art, notches were carved into the edges of cigar box wood, usually with a penknife, and the carved wood was then stacked and fastened with small nails or glue to create detailed, three dimensional designs.

Men with spare time in the evenings created wonderfully layered objects that decorated the homes of family and friends. Furniture pieces like the cheval glass were made from large chunks of wood but with the same notched/chip carved technique.