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Roadside Indiana Outsider Art Postcards

March 11th, 2008 · 1 Comment

We recently sold two unusual “outsider art,” or folk art, postcards from Bedford, Indiana. These dramatic c. 1940s postcards show the work and religious visions of folk artist August Mack. Little is known about him, other than that his display was six miles north of Bedford, on State Road 37 in Lawrence County, IN.

The Brazen Serpent, by Outsider Folk Artist August Mack of Bedford, Indiana 1

The “Brazen Serpent” which Mack created was 21 feet long and resembled a large diamond-back rattlesnake. The rattler weighed about 300 pounds and moved, hissed, rattled and opened its mouth by the power of a small motor. It had 362 wooden ribs and over 4,000 metal scales. While it perhaps frightened tourists, it would have been a visual delight for a herpetologist.


The Brazen Serpent, by Outsider Folk Artist August Mack of Bedford, Indiana 2

The second postcard in his “My Vision, My Dream” series shows angelic figures meeting Mack, as the rattlesnake curls about his feet in a striking position. The postcard also bears the title: “And there shall be no more curse.” Mack writes that “the vision and dream is the answer in my prayers to God not to let me be a wage-slave all of the days of my life.” Both antique postcards were published by the Wayne Paper Box Co. of Fort Wayne, IN.

Are there other images by postcard artist Mack? And whatever happened to Mack and his artwork? We wish we knew.

See more roadside America postcards at our website.

Read about black Americana postcards during the Civil Rights era.

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Tags: Postcards

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 VintagePostcards // Mar 11, 2008 at 11:35 am

    Do you have any August Mack postcards? We’d love to see more examples of his outsider folk art!

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