Signed CLAUDE KEMPER Hand-Carved KILDEER - Birds of My Hollow - West Virginia

Offered for sale is this splendid life-sized, hand-carved and painted wooden Kildeer figure by renowned West Virginia artist Claude Kemper. It measures 6-3/8 inches high. The driftwood base is 7-3/4 inches long x approximately 3-1/4 inches wide. The bird itself is approximately 6 inches long, and is 7-1/2 inches from the tip of its tail, over its head to the end of the beak. There is a tiny bit of minor roughness in the wood where the left wing is folded back against the body. but it is under the paint, and therefore is an integral part of the carving. (See photo 8.)
Kemper grew up on a 150-acre farm on Tanner Creek Road in Gilmer County, West Virginia. For more than a quarter of a century, he took pleasure hand-carving birds that he knew and loved as a child. Kemper carved all of his birds from basswood, then mounted them on driftwood he collected either from West Virginia lake shores or at his winter home in Florida. As his carvings grew in popularity, orders began to backlog for three or four years. He participated in only one craft show per year, the Stonewall Jackson Jubilee, at Jackson's Mill, and exhibited the carvings annually at the West Virginia State Folk Festival in Glenville. During his life, he carved 45 different species of West Virginia birds, and in 2000 donated a complete collection of his birds – one of only
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