Woodsman Iconography

The Woodsman is an iconic figure of Western culture. Images of men wielding axes are common to historical museums and children's fairy tales (i.e., Paul Bunyan), but the Woodsman appeals to a wider audience. The Woodsman is the symbol of optimistic homesteaders, the opening frontier, man taming wilderness, the loss of the frontier, the loss of native cultures, and the rise of environmentalism. He anchors New Deal socialist art of the WPA in 1930's America and drove fashion trends for both Seattle Grunge Era and modern day hipster culture (i.e., lumbersexual fashion). The logger continues to find work across the political spectrum.

Here are a few compelling images of the Woodsman I've come across lately.

Rockwell Kent

Rockwell Kent

Photo hanging in hallway of the Alaska State Legislature Building, Juneau AK

Pearl Jam concert poster from exhibit in SeaTac Airport

John Rush

Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer

Dan McCuddin

Jean-Francois Millet

WPA art

E.H. Holgate

Museum of Russian Art, Minneapolis MN

Homer Simpson

Yukon Cornelius

More to come...

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