Canadian Folk Art Outdoors


Unfortunately, much outdoor folk art sacrifices its kinetic vitality when acquired by a museum. The cherished artifact is no longer allowed to play in the wind and move with its accustomed grace lest it become damaged.

Thus placement and context become more important when such pieces are placed on display. These weather-vanes are therefore seen above eye-level, on the rooftops' peaks, where their creators envisaged them.

Wood and Metal Cock - Photo: H. Foster Wood and Metal Cock
Maker unknown
Richelieu, Quebec
20th century
CCFCS 77-943
Nettie Sharpe Collection

Carved from a single block of wood with metal tail feathers, this rooster was probably made for the top of a wayside cross.

Sailboat Weather-Vane
Maker unknown
LaHave, Nova Scotia
CCFCS 77-278
Sailboat Weather-Vane - Photo: H. Foster

Surprisingly few ship weather-vanes have been collected, although one might think shore dwellers would be very interested in wind direction. This sailing sloop is missing its foresails, but still makes a rather handsome piece.

Arrow Weather-Vane - Photo: H. Foster Arrow Weather-Vane with French Flag
Maker unknown
Baie-Saint-Paul, Quebec
Probably 20th century
CCFCS 80-138

The arrow motif used here is reminiscent of the weather-vane design known as "banneret," which is a fancy word for a simple, directional design. The addition of the flag makes this piece rather special.

Bull Weather-Vane with Bullet Holes
Maker unknown
Sainte-Julie-de-Verchères, Quebec
Probably 20th century
CCFCS 71-301
Bull Weather-Vane - Photo: H. Foster

Since they were first put on roofs, weather-vanes have been fortuitous hunters' targets. This proud sheet-metal bull shows scars from several marksmen.


This Other Eden
Canadian Folk Art Outdoors


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