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Arts and Crafts

Saturday, March 16, 2013

History of Tramp/Hobo Art

This type of art has been around in Europe ever since the presence of mankind and originally stems from Germany and the Scandinavian countries.

This special carving technique was brought to the U.S. by the German and Scandinavian immigrants. The belief is that the word 'tramp' comes from the German word 'trampen' which refers to carving techniques used for practice purposes by craft apprentices during The Middle Ages.

Tramp/Hobo art was used by these immigrants to sell and trade, while they traveled the country. It gained popularity in the United States mainly after the Civil War. It had caught on and was also spread throughout the country by the former soldiers.

The hobby lasted throughout the 1930s and then slowly disappeared. There are several reasons given as to why it did, but nobody really seems to know for sure.

Although tramp/hobo art originally came from the previously mentioned countries, many large objects such as furniture are suspected to have been made by home-based men.

A large piece like in the picture would have been too hard to take from one place to another and the art was also practiced by many others who applied their skills to create pieces for their own use.

Although some records can be found concerning the makers of these art pieces, they are few and far between. Many tramp/hobo artists remain unknown, but their legacy lives on through their remarkable, gorgeous works of art!

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