Untitled (first Nativity)

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    Photo: Roger Manley
late 1960s
Mixed media on tin
28 x 38 x 7 inches

David Butler spent much of his adult life working in Louisiana sawmills. After an injury led to his early retirement in the 1960s, he bought a small house and planted a garden: “I like pretty things in my yard, you see. But when the storms come and it gets cold, my flowers die.” Butler subsequently decided to make colorful creations out of cut sheet tin so that he could have a garden like environment all year round. Butler also shielded his windows with cut tin shades that cast silhouetted shadows inside the house. —Lauren Palmor