Date of Work
35mm slide, digitized 2020
James Smith Pierce Collection: Folk and Outsider Image Collection
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.
Depicted in this image is a slight overview of how the property and the creations that were sculpted once appeared. As you can see, the area spans a large chunk of land. Seen toward the left hand side of the image is the camper that Driftwood Charley lived in.
Image is provided for educational purposes only. © University of North Dakota. All rights reserved.
35 mm slide in excellent condition.