Charles Butler


began to carve wooden sculptures while in his sixties, using his own homemade tools. He was born in Montgomery, Alabama, and moved as an adult to Clearwater, Florida. Butler worked in the hotel business as a porter, handyman,and shoe shiner. The artist Working the wood at times very sparingly and at other times highly decoratively, and often using a crosshatched, incised pattern, Butler depicted historical, biblical, political, and genre images. Occasionally the artist would work on a flat surface and depict his images in wood relief. At other times hewould create freestanding figures that he positioned in front of a narrow, stage-like wooden backdrop. The artist would often finish his sculpture by applying a layer of shoe polish. Wall calendars and other sources from popular mass media provided Butler with pictorial ideas from which to begin creating his sculptures, and hecompleted nearly one hundred works during his lifetime.
See also
Sculpture, Folk
Sellen, Betty-Carol.
Self Taught, Outsider, and Folk Art: A Guide to American Artists, Locations and Resources. Jefferson,
N.C., 2000.Laffal, Florence, ed. “Sketches.”
Folk Art Finder,
vol. 8, no. 3 (1987): 12