Shoe Shine Boxes

Shoeshine boxes follow the tradition of folk art by deriving everyday beauty from utility and need. These emerged in the 30′s and 40′s during the depression; when everything collapsed in a fell swoop and the world became much more dark. It’s an interesting parallel to the financial crisis of today; because instead of complaining about their home foreclosing and how banks are to blame, people back then actually got up and did something. No job? Fine, we will go shine shoes; anything to keep a roof over their heads. Although it wasn’t the most reputable job, shiners had huge pride in their work, which showed in their boxes as an expression of the owner. Many proudly display the worker’s name, or feature big pictures and decorations. These artifacts convey the discrete charm of hard times.
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Posted in Drive-By Gallery.