Charley Kinney was born in 1906. He was the quintessential “Mountain Man”. The artist and his brother Noah (also a famous folk artist) grew up in Toller Hollow in rural Lewis County. They lived on the family farm and drew inspiration from the surrounding wild life.
Charley began painting as early as the 1970’s. His subjects centered around animals, farm life, folklore (most famously his “Haints”) and religion. He was also known for the wood puppets he made and operated with a foot pedal.
The Kinney Brothers who had shared so much in life also passed away in the same year- 1991. They leave behind a legacy of their way of life which they lived practically isolated from the commercial world. Their art reflected their lives, their hopes and their fears, which is the truest form of folk art.
Charley’s works are highly sought after and are included in several museums including, OH Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV. Berea College Appalachian Museum exhibit “Terrors: Holy and Otherwise”. Southern Ohio Museum, Portsmouth. Exhibit “Mountain Harmonies”. Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI, and Owensboro Museum of Fine Art.