The Texas Woodcarvers Guild Museum was dedicated on April 10, 2018 in Cleburne, Texas. The museum came about with the vison of Jack Price and the leg work by Harry Seurkamp and the Chapel Chippers, who built and finished the shelving units. The TWG Museum is in the J.N. Long Art Complex which is run by Cleburne Friends of the Arts. Harry Seurkamp secured a room at the complex for the museum with great anticipation from the Art Complex members.
We were shown the room at the art complex that previous year (2017) when we were in Cleburne, but just like everything else, it was a slow process.
The room is 24 x 21 feet with one wall having windows from the ceiling to three feet above the floor. Lots of natural lighting. Currently there are thirteen feet of wall space covered with shelving. The only items occupying space at that time were 16 carvings by various artists which belonged to Jack Price. They are now property of the TWG Woodcarving Museum. At some point in time, we will receive more carvings from Jack. The shelving units have 5 sections. The first section contains the Jack Price Collection. Also, there is a section honoring Charlie C-Max Winstead. All the memorabilia honoring Charlie is placed in this section. This was Phase I.
There has been a committee established to oversee and make decisions regarding carvings to be housed in the Museum. Members of this committee are TWG Director, Bill Bang, Harry Seurkamp has served as the Chairman, Valerie Clubb, Carolyn Halbrook, Robert Tilton and Stan Stover. It has been the committee’s decision to accept carvings on loan or for permanent display (preferred).
Phase II consisted of establishing a Past-Presidents Collection, those being: Les Visor, Jack Price, Reed Hubbel, Richard Spinney, Claude Bolton, Wayne Jarvis, Lem Smith, Joe Sam Hayes, Robert Miles, Bill Clarke, Walter Warton, Dan Gillen and Michael Griffin.
We are also asking for carvings from past C-Max Award winners, some of which were past -presidents. At this time if you are a past-president and C-Max Award winner we only want one carving, but you tell us what section to put it in. Cards are being placed next to the carvings to identify them. As we acquire more display space, we will place a carving in each section.
We will have a memorial section, for those beloved members that did not hold office or win the C-Max but were long-standing members or instructors.
In 2019 we saw consistent growth in the museum. Numerous carvings as well as books on woodcarving information were added. I did add some additional shelving under the windows. At this point in time the shelving holds a reference library. Thanks to Walter Warton we have a complete edition of Wood Carving Illustrated. He had a few additional books and I added some from my personal collection. We were given a printer copier so if anyone wants to make copies of pages they can. Books are not permitted to leave the room. We received an additional display case form Wanda and Danny Reichert along with several carvings. We also received several carvings from Ray North on behalf of a nonprofit that went defunct (Journey in Wood) (10).
After reaching capacity housing 145 carvings we needed to start Phase III.
Phase III started with another 33 feet of shelfing donated by Ronnie Zint. Ginger and I painted the shelves and cabinets. Plexiglass was again purchased and installed. Molding was added to the base of the cabinets. We purchased a banner which hangs outside the museum. I purchased some additional plexiglass to enclose a display stand that has glass shelves but did not have sides or a front to protect carvings it will house. This case holds a life size redtail hawk carved by Cal Stewart.
We had a couple of thousand rack cards printed. These rack cards are in 9 Texas Welcome Centers for visitors to pick up and hopefully drive them to the museum.
In May of 2020, the JN LONG Art Complex planned to host a Chamber of Commerce Night Out. I planned for the museum to play a large part in this function as far as promotion of our existence. (unfortunately, this function was postponed because of COVID-19) In fact the entire complex was locked down for about 6 months. Then reopened under Texas protocols. The art complex and museum reopened in October of 2020.
I want you to know that I make no decisions on my own. Members of the committee are contacted for the input and vote of items pertaining to the museum. I am pleased for the opportunity to look over the museum. Although it takes a time and work it has been enjoyable and rewarding.
To date (June 2021) we have 4 carving Screen displays. The Alamo Carvers Christmas Scene which won first place in the 2018 Club Championship, The Chapel Chippers Winter Scene from 2018, a church scene with worshippers and a minister donated by Wanda and Danny Reb Reichert and the Chapel Chippers First Place Club Championship scene of the Golfing Event (2019). There are several wall hangings and two racks of canes (1) and walling sticks (6). We have two glass display cases and two smaller wooden display cases. Our latest addition to the museum was donated by Ron Davis. Ron carved and painted Noah’s Ark with Noah, his wife and 22 animals and their mates. It is really a piece of work. You cannot miss it. It is in the case as you walk in the door.
We have total of 420 pieces in the museum (this accounts for all pieces in the scenes also). We are always looking for carvings from Guild Members. (updated June 2021)
TWG Members may send their museum carvings to Harry Seurkamp, 7062 Golf DR., Whitney, Texas 76692. If you need to contact Harry his email is firstname.lastname@example.org and his cell is 254-580-3555. All carvings are logged in and categorized by carver, donor, and subject matter. These logs are available in the museum for visitors to search for carvers work or specific carvings.