Fred Webster was a native Alabamian who took up wood carving as a hobby when he retired from his position as a high school principal. The hobby soon became a passion, and Webster is now recognized as one of the state’s most accomplished folk carvers.
His primary subject matter is biblical, such as the Temptation of Adam or Jonah and the Whale, or figures like angels in concert. There is a striking sense of whimsy to his small figural groupings, particularly the devils engaged in playful scenes of temptation. This exhibition will include approximately 20 narrative groupings from private collections and an illustrated brochure.
Fred Webster is now well known folk artist. The artworks of Fred Webster include all sorts of carvings, but his most well known are his religious subjects, as he was a reverent Methodist Church member. His work contained reference to Old and New Testaments, Adam and Eve, Angel Gabriel, and more. Webster's carvings, like his Noah's Ark, are elaborate and complex structures.
In the mid-1980s, a folk art collector and dealer named Robert Cargo introduced himself to Webster and complimented him on his carvings.
The artist's reputation thus was built on carved and painted wooden figures and constructions, generally 8-10 inches tall, of Biblical inspiration.
His work is in many Museums and prominent private collections. Especially popular with collectors were his Adam and Eve, Jonah and the Whale.
Webster passed away in 1998.