Gettysburg museum showcases woodcarvings, paintings

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Farm Forum

On display at the Dakota Sunset Museum in Gettysburg are the woodcarvings and paintings by two Gettysburg men, Tom Fairbanks and Dale Bramblee.

“The Tom and Dale Show” runs through the winter months.

Fairbanks began whittling about 25 years ago while living in Eagle Butte. The self-taught woodcarver needed something to fill his spare time. Out of a block of wood and using only a knife, Fairbanks might fashion a “distinguished Native American or humorous rustic cowboys,” according to information from the museum. Many of his pieces deal with wildlife, and he has created mirrored pheasant and geese wall hangings.

Bramblee took a tole painting class in the late 1980s and later took painting classes from George Prisbe at Northern State University, according to the release.

Tole painting is decorative painting on tin and wooden utensils, objects and furniture. “Detailed South Dakota scenery and early homesteads are revealed on his colorful canvases,” according to the museum. One of his paintings won the “People’s Choice Award” at a competition in Mobridge in 1990.

Woodcarving has also interested Bramblee. He created a Civil War soldier as a tribute to the more than 200 veterans who settled Potter County in the 1880s. The veterans included Bramblee’s great-grandfather, William Combellick, one of the founding fathers of Gettysburg. This piece was donated to the Dakota Sunset Museum in 2000.

The museum is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free. For more information, call 605-765-9480.