Gifted painting raises questions

Published 5:13 pm Thursday, July 13, 2023

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Gifts are turning heads at the Pioneer Museum of Alabama.

Of course, the museum is a collection of thousands of gifted artifacts.

When the late Curren Farmer founded the Pike Pioneer Museum in 1971, he did so with donations of everything from pitch forks and baby dolls to farm equipment and gas pumps and from butter churns to moonshine stills.

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Barbara Tatom, museum director, the museum is a huge collection of gifted items. The museum recently received a “large” item donation of a rolling store which is now on display on the museum grounds.

And, just recently, the museum received two small-item donations. One that came with a question mark and the other, a gift to the museum’s gift shop.

“Yvon Brantley, the grand-daughter of the late Gerald Brantley, donated a painting to the museum that I call ‘Pickin’ on the Porch,’” Tatom said. “It’s a painting of a group of ol’ time musicians gathered on the porch, pickin’ and probably singing.”

Tatom said the artist of the painting is unknown as is the place and the musicians.

“The museum is very appreciative of the painting,” Tatom said. “The porch is much like the porches on the cabins on the museum grounds and is a great fit for our museum.”

However, there is mystery about the museum. Who is the artist and who are the pickers?”

Tatom is asking anyone who knows anything about the painting to contact the museum at 3597.334-566-3597 or visit the museum during regular hours.

The other donation is also greatly appreciated and one that the museum will be able to share through its gift shop.

“Mary Chastain made and sold the purses but has since moved from Troy,” Tatom said. “Mary will no longer be making purses so she donated the ones she had on hand to the museum. We will offer her purses for sale to those who will appreciate the handicraft and also the crafter.”

The Pioneer Museum of Alabama is open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. The museum is a great way to spend a summer’s day. It provides great learning opportunities for young people and a trip down memory lane for others.