Interview with (Toothpick King) Henry Wesley Stewart

Date: September 9, 1984

Source: S1576 , Container 22 , C86-167

Type: Sound

Download: MP3


  • One audio cassette. Stewart was well-known for his toothpick art work. Born in South Carolina, he was a former messenger for WMVR Radio. He discusses origins of his toothpick artwork; various sculptures he has made; the process of making the sculptures; inspiration sources; selling objects to people such as Minnie Pearl, publisher Katherine Graham, and Liberace; tools used; and the importance of traditions. Stewart did not allow any photographs to be taken of his artwork. The Folk Arts in Education Project in Duval County was a joint venture between the Duval County School System and the Florida Folklife Program. It was started in 1984 by folklorist David Taylor with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts to add to existing social studies curriculum. The project consisted of field research to identify local traditions and folk artists, a series of five two-day seminars to acquaint teachers with the use of folklore and folk arts,and in-school programs conducted by a folklorist and traditionalist which included visits by local folk artists. Taylor ran it until 1986. In 1988, Gregory Hansen re-initiated it with minor changes.

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