Title of Work
Date of Work
35mm color slide
James Smith Pierce Collection
Stored: 211 Cupboard D, JSPS-02-0E-1
UND Art Collections Repository
Born in Brooklyn, New York, James Smith Pierce received his PhD in art history from Harvard University. During his career as a professor, Pierce also became an accomplished artist, whose artworks were included in important exhibitions (including a show on land art at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC) and books on contemporary earthworks and site-specific sculpture. Pierce was also a photographer, exhibition curator, and art collector.
In 1947, doctors told Charles (1901-1985) that he had only a short time to live unless he moved to a hot, dry climate. He first moved to to the Death Valley area, but in 1960, he moved to Yuma, Arizona. This is where Driftwood Charley's World of Lost Art was created. He began sculpting in 1967, and his creations began to fill an area of about two and a half acres. The style he used was primarily influenced by his time with the U.S. Navy, as well as the desert terrain surrounding him. Most of the sculptures created were carved out of the stone, some of which include: figures from the Bible, creatures, and many other objects. Today, only rubble remains from the sculptures that once stood on the two-and-a-half-acre property. Travel to the area is not recommended.
As seen from these objects, Driftwood Charley's sculptures were made from rock, stone, and anything else that he could find in the desert environment.
Digitally preserved 2021.
Image is provided for educational purposes only. © University of North Dakota. All rights reserved.