Museum of Animated Carvings is a finalist for the 8 Wonders of Kansas
Art because of the brilliance of more than 65 motion displays including
hand-carved figurines made by Kansas artist Paul Boyer.
was born in 1930 in Aurora, Kansas and has been carving for over 60
years. He has no formal training in art or engineering; in fact he only
has a fourth-grade education. Never using a blue print, Paul
says if he can see an idea in his head, he can build it. Armed with his
great imagination and sense of humor he goes to work hand carving and
painting the figurines for his motion displays and then assembles the
cases and decides what kind of motor to use. Sorting through his
collection of gears to find just the right ones is the next step. The
most intricate task is shaping and bending each of the wire mechanisms
in order to connect the figurines to the motors. Somehow he makes it
Museum of Animated Carvings is housed in the old Harber's ice cream
plant and features over 60 motion displays made by Paul.
There are goats that butt heads, men who are making wood shingles,
replicas of different types of airplanes and tractors and engines, and
mazes of wire tracks that ball bearings ride on and bounce on drums.
The calliope is Paul's masterpiece.
In 1965 Paul
was in a bad accident and lost his leg, then contracted Hepatitis C
through a blood transfusion. He was never able to go back to work but
beat his life expectancy and since then has more time, when feeling
good, to build his creations.
Museum of Animated Carvings (formerly Boyer Gallery) had been closed
for about two years but has re-opened and is now owned and operated by
his daughters, Ann and Candy. Some days Paul is in the museum tuning up his displays. Paul's wish for the future is to keep his collection together where people can see it and enjoy it.
Location: 12th and M Street.
Contacts: 785.527.5884; 785.527.2082; 785.527.2640
Mailing address: 2712 K Street, c/o Ann Lewellyn, Belleville, KS 66935
Open: May through September,
Wednesday-Saturday 1-5 p.m.; October through April by appointment. Always best to call ahead.
Photos: Harland Schuster for KSF.