I was thinking lately of Floyd Shaman, the late sculptor. He was born in Wyoming and studied under Robert Russin, known for several large-scale public pieces including those installed at the Department of Energy in DC, the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, the Hyde Park Museum in New York, Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania and the University of Wyoming.
Shaman moved from working with stone to wood when he moved to Mississippi. He founded the sculpture division of the art department at Delta State in 1970 and taught there for several years.
If you’ve been to Square Books in Oxford, you know his work from this piece upstairs:
In the mid-70s, he had a residency at Yaddo in Saratoga Springs, NY
As his work gained more notoriety, his work went to New York and other galleries (here’s Salvadore and his Dolly) and museums, including the permanent collection at the Ogden in New Orleans, the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia, the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, and the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel, Mississippi. I think there’s also a piece that’s been on display at the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale.
From this site, a couple of quotes:
“I don’t really know if my art is any good,” he says. “That’ll all have to be sorted out in a hundred years.” Discussing the legendary Mississippi folk artists, Shaman gives me a short lesson in the origins of true artwork. “I’m a University trained artist,” he says. “I could do folk art, but it would be a fraud.”
Shaman was commissioned to create pieces for a church, including an altar on which he sculpted The Last Supper in bas-relief…”They were one of the more pleasant clients I’ve had”, he says. “They actually called me and said; ‘are we paying you enough money? Should we give you more?’ I said; ‘no, that’s fine.'”
This is the work of his that we have, just a little over 20″:
found him for sale years ago for an astonishing $50…I guess they weren’t familiar with his work
inside, this image of the “Owl Lady”