Backcountry Makers: An Artisan History of Southwest Virginia
and Northeast Tennessee
Based on the scholarship and recent publication by Betsy K. White
July 31, 2015 – January 3, 2016
Opening Reception First Thursday, August 6 from 6-8 p.m.
Abingdon’s own scholar, Betsy K. White, brings to life the material-culture heritage of southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee in her recent publication Backcountry Makers: An Artisan History of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee. This exhibition will include biographical sketches sampled from the seventy-five makers included in the book —potters, weavers, spinners, quilters, embroiderers, cabinetmakers, metalsmiths, clocksmiths, gunsmiths, and artists — alongside examples of their work gathered from important public and private collections throughout the region. These vignettes offer a fascinating glimpse of the people behind the various pieces, describing their background, family life, and where they learned their trade. Using census records and other documentary evidence, White has traced the earliest of these artisans from their origins in such places as Europe and Philadelphia down through the Great Valley of Virginia to their ultimate destinations in southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee.
Backcountry Makers is the 31st exhibition resulting from the Betsy K. White Cultural Heritage Project, which documents and presents the artistic legacy of Southwest Virginia and Northeast Tennessee.
This exhibition is sponsored by