Our Visionaries

Let's Stay In Touch:

Receive the American Visionary Art Museum's e-newsletter

Receive AVAM's
e-newsletter!

Subscribe and stay up-to-date on all of AVAM's programs, events, workshops & more.

Receive AVAM's
e-news on exhibits & programs!

Stay for the Eats

Experience Encantada

Encantada is the new restaurant located on AVAM's 3rd floor that features local Chesapeake cooking. Drawing on the importance of "roots," both creative and culinary, Encantada supports regional farms, ranches, and aqua-culture, thus nurturing the concept of sustainability. Experience this enchanted escape where boundaries are blurred and tastes are celebrated.

Visit EncantadaBaltimore.com or call 410-752-1000 for reservations or more info.

More

Green Bunny, Clarence & Grace Woolsey, Photo by Dan Meyers

Clarence & Grace Woolsey

(1929–1987) & (?–1992)

Farmhands in Lincoln, Iowa, Grace and Clarence Woolsey were keeping their saved bottle caps in a gallon jar. One snowy night in 1961, when the jar was full, they started to make their first small sculpture with the caps. From there, things just went up hill with one astounding bottle cap creation after another: a bicycle, life-sized animals, and entire bottle cap buildings built to scale.

About ten years after they started their artwork, the Woolseys started displaying their pieces in a roadside bottle cap menagerie called "The World's Largest Pioneer Caparena." Caparena was their word for an arena of caps. Admission? Just 25 cents.

The Woolseys soon became discouraged because of the lack of response at the two shows they staged and they abandoned their hobby. After their deaths, their unique creations were newly "discovered"—to whole lot sold off at auction for $57 from where they had been stored in an old barn belonging to Grace's brother.

Today, Woolsey sculptures have sold individually for $5,000 and more. Their art is recognized among the most significant pieces in American outsider art. Their legacy is more than 200 sculptures created or covered completely with bottle caps.