Peter E. Randall PublisherPeter E. Randall Publisher
   facebook    twitter    youtube
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email list for news, events, & publishing tips.

Johannes KirchmayerMaster Carver Johannes Kirchmayer, 1860-1930

by F. Shirley Prouty

Contemporaries described John Kirchmayer as the greatest woodcarver since the Middle Ages. F. Shirley Prouty, a descendant, has sought to perpetuate that legacy by documenting every example of Kirchmayer’s oeuvre in America. The result is an exhaustive and meticulous study that will be indispensable for any scholar who wishes to investigate and understand ecclesiastical art and architecture in the early decades of the twentieth century.
— Richard R. Seidel, Historiographer, Diocese of Chicago (Episcopal)

Ten years of research by Shirley and her family, especially son Deane, covered parts of New England, New York, Ohio, Minnesota, the province of Ontario, and the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., uncovering more of Kirchmayer’s carvings than first imagined. Shirley’s creativity, determination, and vitality have brought this project to fruition, enabling Kirchmayer’s works to be enjoyed by a larger audience. Congratulations!
— Rev. Harold F. Cooper, Ph.D., Minister Emeritus,
  West Yarmouth Congregational Church, West Yarmouth, MA.

The time has indeed come for the art and craftsmanship of woodcarver Johannes Kirchmayer to be recognized, and F. Shirley Prouty is to be commended for bringing his biography and work to light in this book. Kirchmayer’s intricately carved white oak and Virgin Islands mahogany are the crowning glories of the James J. Hill House, and his masterful carvings adorn great homes, churches, and public buildings throughout the United States. His story is a glowing testament to the industry and abilities of thousands of immigrant workers who poured into the United States during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries—though few matched Kirchmayer’s extraordinary precision and artistry.
Prouty’s publication shines a welcome light on this important craftsman whose remarkable contributions so enrich our cultural landscape.
— Craig Johnson, Site Manager for James J. Hill House,
  Minnesota Historical Society

From the Foreword
Shirley Prouty, in preparing this biography and its accompanying detailed catalogue and checklist of Kirchmayer’s work, adds enormously to our knowledge of this important artist’s life and work. Her efforts will be the inevitable starting point for future generations of scholars as they continue to refine our interpretation of Johannes Kirchmayer and his significant role in the history of American art.
— Gerald W. R. Ward, The Katharine Lane Weems Senior Curator of
  Decorative Arts and Sculpture Art of the Americas,
  Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

About the Author

Florence Shirley (Powell) Prouty grew up and graduated from high school in Arlington, Massachusetts. She attended Westbrook Junior College in Portland, Maine, finishing two years in one. Soon after, she married Ernest L. Prouty, and they have now been married for fifty-six years. They moved to Cape Cod, where they raised their family. She is an accomplished seamstress and a quilter, who also enjoys crocheting and knitting. Mrs. Prouty was a past adult advisor with the IORG, a fraternal organization for girls between the ages of eleven and twenty-one. Shirley and Ernest are retired and keep busy sharing hobbies of cooking, sewing, and tracking four parental lines of genealogy. This book is but one aspect of the treasures in their respective families’ backgrounds.

ISBN: 1-931807-60-4, $39.95 Art / Biography, 140 pages, Hardcover, 32-pages of full-color photographs, plus catalog of works and index.

Ordering Information

To order, contact: F. Shirley Prouty, (508) 394-4601, email:


[ Home | Publish With Us | Book Catalog | About Us | Awards | News & Events | Marketing | Order Books ]

© 2002-2010 • Peter E. Randall Publisher, LLC
5 Greenleaf Woods Drive, U102 • Post Office Box 4726 • Portsmouth, NH 03802-4726
Tel (603) 431-5667 • Fax (603) 431-3566 • Contact Us

Songsmith | Jetty House | Peter E. Randall Photography | Writers-in-the-Round