Southern Appalachian Digital Collections

Western Carolina University (21) View all

W.T. Massey to Murrial Martin, 1947

  • wcu_craft_revival-4109.jpg
  • This letter was written by woodcarver W.T. Massey to Murrial Martin, known as Murray Martin, who was the carving instructor of the John C. Campbell Folk School from 1935 to 1973. Martin also managed the school's woodcarving cooperative which became known as the Brasstown Carvers. Apparently in 1947, there was an effort among the carvers to write letters to Martin describing the effect that carving has had on their life. Carving, for some, served as a means of supplementing modest farm income, and in many cases, was vital funding for feeding and clothing children. Although the work of the Brasstown Carvers was highly marketable and successful nationwide, carvers emphasized that the main reason they carved was for the pure joy of it.