D. H. Ramsey Library Special Collections and University Archives

Wade & Wayne Martin - Master Woodcarver Collection

Summary Information

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives
Wade & Wayne Martin - Master Woodcarver Collection
Date [inclusive]
20.0 Linear feet  ; approximately 93 individual carvings
Physical Description
Approximately 93 individual carved pieces of pine wood depicting rural Appalachian activities. Carvings are of varying height, with the tallest figurine being 5 inches high. Included as supplementary materials are photographs of some carvings.
Carvings displayed on main floor of Ramsey Library. Supplementary materials located in Special Collections Row 3, Section 4

Preferred Citation

Wayne Martin, Master Woodcarver Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library, Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Asheville 28804

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Historical Note

Kendall Wayne "Bozo" Martin was born on April 10, 1923 to Marcus Lafayette Martin and Callie Holloway Martin. Marcus was an "old timey" fiddler and recognized as one of the best in North Carolina. Wayne, as Kendall Wayne was commonly called, also played fiddle, though mostly just at family occasions. Marcus and Callie had total of six children; in addition to Wayne, there was a daughter Zenobia, and sons, Fred, Quentin, Wade and Edsel. All the Martin brothers carved or made musical instruments; in addition to carving intricate human figures, Wayne also made dulcimers, fiddles and guitars.

During World War II, Wayne served in the army and was awarded the Purple Heart before being wounded and discharged. Whilst he was serving, Wayne married his sweetheart Elsie Louise Marlowe, and the couple subsequently had three children: Priscilla, Carrol and Wanda.

After the war, Wayne was able to make a living from his carvings, and he and his brother Wade sold figurines to the Appalachian Craft Shop on Wall Street in Asheville, and to the Cliff Dweller in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The carvings of the brothers became very popular, selling out shortly after they arrived. The brother's carvings were featured in Life magazine, and are found in collections nationwide.

The pieces in the collection are believed to have carved over a thirty year period, and the original donor, Miss Annette Ogden Duchein, indicated that the carvings were by Wade and Wayne Martin, although only a few carvings are signed by Wade Martin, the remaining carvings being unsigned. During a visit to UNC Asheville (date unknown, but after the Duchein donation) Wayne Martin is believed to have confirmed that most of the carvings were his work. However, a few of the pieces remain uncertain in their attribution.

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Scope and Contents

Approximately 93 carved wooden pieces, displaying representations of rural Appalachian activities. The collection includes approximately 21 figure groups with multiple items, and 7 single figures not identified as associated with any group. The pieces are thought to have primarily been carved by Wayne Martin and secondarily, by his older brother, Wade Martin, although only a few are signed, and these are by Wade Martin. The titles of the individual pieces were assigned by the cataloger not the creator.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

UNC Asheville Special Collections and University Archives

Ramsey Library, CPO # 1500
One University Heights
Asheville, North Carolina, 28804-8504


Original donation by Annette Duchein in 1977. Additional materials were donated Wayne Martin's daughter, Wanda Huntsman in August 2010. The second donation also included family letters, newspaper clippings, and other ephemera. These have been archived as the Kendall Wayne Martin Family Collection.

Processing Information

Collection processed in 2006 by Jessica Wallace, Helen Wykle and Susan Jones. New finding aid, February 2016, by Colin Reeve.

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Related Materials

Related Materials

Wade and Wayne Martin Master Woodcarver Collection ; Elsie Marlowe Martin oral history ; Martin, Wade H. Woodcarving Mountaineer Style: With a Barlow Pocket Knife ... . S.l: s.n, 1986 [TT199.7 .M3 1986 ]

Kendall Wayne Martin Family Collection [M2010.09]

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Collection Inventory


Original Duchein Donation 

Second Donation from Wanda Huntsman, daughter of Wayne Martin 

Supplementary Materials 

Photographs of Kendall Wayne Martin carvings, taken at an exhibit at Lee Hall, Blue Ridge Assembly, Black Mountain, NC in 1980. Photos taken by Loyal Jones, and donated by Loyal Jones and his daughter Susan Ellen Jones. [34 transparencies] 

Photographs of carvings and unidentified man and woman. Date and provenance of the images, which were found in the university archives, is unknown but the man is possibly Mr. Martin. [4 negatives]