Quote and Credit

Quote and Credit

Funky Furniture Eccentric Handmade Vanity with Flash Outsider Art on Wood African-American or Dutch?

A very small (25" tall) handmade vanity "thing" from Muskegon, Michigan circa 1930 or so. While the piece is made by hand with an eccentric construction, the paint flash strikes the eye first. It strikes the eye hard!

In my travels and years of collecting, anytime I see a piece of furniture with sawcut edges, unusual construction and more than anything such decoration, especially with gold, I think the piece could likely be African-American. Scholars will point out such characteristics and make a good case, but we will never really know.

Muskegon and Muskegon Heights in particular have a slightly higher percentage of African-American residents than some Western Michigan cities, and I have seen a good many pieces of furniture like this from barbershops which came from Black neighborhoods over the years.

On the other hand, I have seen some damn crazy rustic country furniture from Peckerwood Gulch with some wild paint, and sometimes the tallest bottle trees grow in Caucasian gardens.

Handmade, paint-decorated Diminutive Towel rack with drawer thing, circa 1930-1940 collection Jim Linderman



  1. Even if you had found that amazing piece in Holland, I wouldn't think it was Dutch. They're generally too conservative to paint something so wild, in my opinion.