The Road Less Traveled




Artist Dates



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Date of Work

ca. 1976


35mm slide, digitized 2020


James Smith Pierce Collection: Folk and Outsider Image Collection




UND Art Collections Repository

Artist Bio

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.

Additional Information

Fred Smith (1886-1976), of Wisconsin, was known for his life-size and larger hand-made, concrete creations at what is now called the Wisconsin Concrete Park. Smith started creating his sculptures in 1948 after he retired from a lumber camp due to arthritis. The 237 sculptures are in honor of indigenous peoples, regional settlers, local myths and legends, figures and animals, events of national and local interest, as well as some events of deeply personal significance. Smith did not originally intend to build such a large collection, but he did so in a span of only 15 years.

The Wisconsin Concrete Park is currently on the National Registry of Historic Places. Although a wind storm damaged 70% of the figures in 1977, the original rotted wood armatures were replaced with steel to protect them from extreme climatic conditions.

This sculpture of Mr. Knox and is accompanied by oxen and references local lumber history and lore associated with Paul Bunyan.

Image is provided for educational purposes only. © University of North Dakota. All rights reserved.

Condition Notes

35 mm slide in excellent condition.


Image Location