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Tinkertown NM

2009.04.21
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Most people either drive by and dont see it, or they drive by and wonder, "What's that?"
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There are a lot of these lil rooms filled with all sort of wondrous sights and endless possibilities for a photographer. The biggest challenge being the glare of the glass and the reflections of the lights.
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A very whimsical place
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with lots of crowded streets
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but when you stop a look closely there's a lot of lil stories going one behind the scenes.
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Tinkertown is a lil museum not far from Albuquerque NM and on the "Backside" of the Sandia mountains and was created by (I plagiarized the following from the Tinkertown web sight) Ross Ward who was born to paint, carve and tinker. As a boy growing up in the Midwest, he was captivated by the tiny villages, farms and circuses created by "spare time carvers." His own miniature world began with circus figures carved while in junior high school - now on display at the museum. He began carving the first figures for the turn-of-the-century general store in 1962.

Ross carved and built his folk art environment as a hobby for most of his adult life but he was even more prolific in his artistic endeavors of painting, etching, drawing and sculpture. A self taught artist, he was a show painter for carnivals for over 30 years, traveling the country painting on all the major carnival shows and in winter quarters from Texas to Florida.

Far more than an impressive collection of miniatures and memorabilia of all kinds, Tinkertown is a living testimonial to Ross Ward’s belief in self determination and independence. It is evidence of his singular pursuit of creating a true folk art environment in the style of Grandma Prisby’s Bottle Village in California and Reverend Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden in Georgia. It has grown from a one-room museum welcoming 943 visitors in 1983 to a roadside attraction hosting over 20,000 visitors in 2004.

In February of 1998, at age 57, Ross was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease and passed away November 13, 2002. The Ward family continues his legacy by maintaining and running Tinkertown in his memory. This season is Tinkertown’s 21st and something is always happening at the museum. Click here for a list events during the 2007 season. In the spirit of Ross’ adage: “The show must go on!”.
5 Comments
smbunation Oh wow. I really, really like these shots. Maybe it is because I'm such a sucker for little trinkets and misc. stuff. Either way, great shots, really cool set.
smbunation · 2009-04-19: 11:56
susjustjake I wish I could of went with u guys. You did a great job with these! Hope to see ya soon!
susjustjake · 2009-04-20: 00:39
PennyWyatt what a neat place, thank you for sharing the pics and information
PennyWyatt · 2009-04-20: 00:43
mystic1 Some of those out of the way roadside places are an adventure in themselves, what a neat place and interesting story

Very cool find
mystic1 · 2009-04-20: 13:43
catdad What a great place and so much history, Thanks for sharing, looks like a photographers nightmare, but a super place for captures, great job, neat place. cd
catdad · 2009-04-23: 02:10
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Tagged: museum
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