Backcountry Makers: An Artisan History of SWVA and NETN

July 31, 2015 - January 03, 2016

Price-Strongwell Cultural Heritage Galleries

Exhibit Details

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.