Luce Center Label: Farmers created whirligigs to entertain their children and decorate their gardens. These colorful, animated devices also added an element of fun to an otherwise demanding life in rural America. This piece shows the everyday activities of churning butter and sawing wood. When the wind blows, the lady’s arms move up and down and the man’s saw moves back and forth. The large painted arrow on the back of the whirligig suggests it was also used as a weather vane.
Object number: 1992.1.6
Medium: cut, turned and painted wood; metal; cloth; porcelain doll parts
Dimensions: 27 1/2 x 33 x 11 7/8 in. (72.0 x 83.8 x 32.0 cm.)
See more items in: Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department: Painting and Sculpture
Credit Line: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase from the folk art collection of David L. Davies