(Music by Forrest Lewinger)
Butch Anthony, a.k.a Museum of Wonder, has collected everything from arrowheads to beaver skulls from an early age. At fourteen he was building birdhouses and stuffing his own taxidermy. His first building, a little log cabin on his grandfather’s farm, eventually became his shop.
Over the years, Butch has honed his architecture and design skills. His home is built from stones and the timber of an old cotton mill, and his back porch — which overlooks a beaver swamp — is elegantly adorned with old license plates. In sharing his fondness for construction, he admits that he’s been working on his house for twenty-two years.
Butch’s taxidermy, collections and artistic endeavors have led to a full-fledged museum, which has in turn grown to be the grand attraction of his hometown of Seale, Alabama. This little shop has hosted the likes of the American Pickers and The New York Times.
As the story that has now become part of the Museum of Wonder‘s mythology goes, Butch’s friend John Henry Toney was plowing his garden one day and found a turnip with a face on it. He drew a picture on the turnip, which Butch put in mutual friend Frank Turner’s junk shop. He set a price of $50, and to their surprise someone bought it, thus beginning both Butch and John Henry’s careers as artists. Once they had a collection of artwork amassed, they decided to throw a little party in an effort to attract patrons to their newfound calling.
Thus the Doo-Nanny was born, which has since grown into a full weekend of art and music, complete with a sculpture burn (an homage to the effigy burn at Burning Man) and a film festival. Last year’s festival, which is now held on Butch’s family property, entertained over a thousand attendees. Doo-Nanny ’11, scheduled for March 26-27, expects an even heavier attendance.