Browse Environments By Type

Homes fully transformed

79 Environments

Conventional dwellings whose exteriors are completely ornamented or otherwise aesthetically engaged so they are no longer recognizable as conventional houses. The Beer Can House and Malda Reda Larsen’s house are examples.

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Architectural inventions

195 Environments

Environments centered around or including original, inventive architectural forms, structures, or buildings, or works that embody and express architectural principles. Examples include: Karl Junker’s Junkerhaus, S.P. Dinsmoor’s Cabin Home, St. EOM’s Pasaquan, Tressa "Grandma" Prisbrey’s Bottle Village, and Kea Tawana’s Ark.

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Engaged interior spaces

58 Environments

House interiors or other inside places that are completely transformed by ornament, collections, or creations. Loy Bowlin’s Beautiful Holy Jewel Home and Emery Blagdon’s Healing Machine are examples.

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Fraternal: the architecture of mystery

5 Environments

Spaces created for fraternal ritual, adorned with symbols or references to fraternal initiation, ritual, or philosophy. Ernest Hupeden's Painted Forest was a fraternal lodge hall. S.P. Dinsmoor's tomb is adorned with symbols of the Free Masonic order.

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138 Environments

Environments that are inseparable from their landscapes, be they plantings (trees, shrubs, flowers, grasses), rocks and stones, water features and/or other landscape elements, often combined with sculptures  or structures. Nick Engelbert’s Grandview, Ellsworth Rock Garden, Pearl Fryar’s topiary garden and the Rudolph Grotto are examples.

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Grottos, religious, spiritual, devotional, mystical environments

111 Environments

Places made by priests or laypeople, on church or temple grounds, parks, or residential properties, created for religious or spiritual reflection, devotional practices, or places that encourage or induce spiritual or mystical experiences. Emery Bladgon’s Healing Machine, the Garden of the Redemption, St. EOM’s Pasaquan, and the Paul and Matilda Wegner Grotto are some examples.

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Yard Shows

153 Environments

Environments that animate a residential yard, often taking it over completely, often using found materials, such as Paul Hefti’s yard, or homemade elements such as Romano Gabriel’s environment.

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Signs, messages, the written word

56 Environments

Art environments that tell stories or convey information through the medium of signs and/or the written word. Jesse Howard celebrated freedom of speech and PEMABO expressed ideas about peace, through sign-filled environment; other sign-filled environments are platforms for religious messages, such as Finster’s Paradise Garden or Rice’s Cross Garden.

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17 Environments

Many builders have been compelled to create miniature renditions and scale models of real and imagined places. Examples include Eaglemount Rockeries, the Ave Marie Grotto, and Shangri-La/White Rock Village

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Monuments: historical, memorial, commemorative

57 Environments

Art environments built to represent, memorialize, or commemorate a person, place, event, or idea, such as the Watts Towers, a monument to Rodia’s ideas and imagination; the Orange Show, a monument to the orange; Joe Minter’s African Village in America and Dr. Charles Smith’s environments commemorate many events in African American history.

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Spatial narratives

100 Environments

Environments in which stories or multiple histories are unfolded by moving through the space or landscape. Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park, S.P. Dinsmoor’s Garden of Eden, and Joe Minter’s African Village in America are examples.

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Figures and animals

211 Environments

Sites occupied by sculptures or other depictions of people and animals, birds, and other living things. Fred Smith’s Wisconsin Concrete Park and Trapper John Ehn’s Old Trapper’s Lodge are examples.

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28 Environments

Kinetic environments, things that move, wind or machine driven sculptures or objects. Calvin and Ruby Black’s Possum Trot and Frank Oebser’s Little Program are examples.

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25 Environments

Architecture or sculpture in the shape of things, big things: Dinosaur parks, giant Paul Bunyan figures, the giant Muskie at the World’s Fishing Hall of Fame, etc.

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In Celebration of Ourselves

1 Environments

Photos of celebrations, parades, happenings, love-ins, feasts, and other time-based, ephemeral events. Photos of tattoos and other body ornament, grave decorations, delights in the visual landscape.

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Threatened or For Sale

10 Environments

These environments are either For Sale, or are threatened/in danger of being destroyed

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