The Old Trapper’s Lodge at Pierce College

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The Old Trapper’s Lodge – John Ehn

6201 Winnetka Avenue
Woodland Hills, CA
818-347-0551
Sculpture environment

John Ehn opened a motel in California in 1941, moving there from Michigan, where he had worked as a trapper. He hired a sculptor to make a huge statue of a trapper to publicize the Old Trapper’s Lodge, and seeing the sculptor at work proved training enough.

From the mid-Fifties, Ehn transformed his front yard into a history of the old West, with sculpted cowboys, cowgirls, gunslingers and Indians, and a Boot Hill graveyard. The motel office was filled with western memorabilia, weaponry and pelts. The face of the building was covered with tools, and a low wall was decorated with rocks and cement faces.

After John Ehn’s death, the family was forced to sell the property to make way for airport expansion. However, the main sculptures, along with Ehn’s many signs and painted tombstones were rescued by the SPACES organization and relocated to the grounds of the Los Angeles Pierce college.

You will find Old Trapper’s Lodge at Pierce College, behind the agriculture science building.

(Excerpted text and photos from © “Fantasy Worlds” by Deidi Von Schaewen and John Maizels, all rights reserved)

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Bibliography:

“20th Century American Folk, Self Taught, and Outsider Art” by Betty-Carol Sellen, Cynthia J. Johnson, Neal-Schuman Publishers, New York, 1993.

“Self-Made Worlds: Visionary Environments” by Roger Manley and Mark Sloan, Aperture, New York, 1997.

“Fantasy Worlds” by Deidi Von Schaewen and John Maizels, Taschen, New York, 1999.

“Self Taught, Outsider, and Folk Art—A guide to American Artists, Locations and Resources” by Betty-Carol Sellen with Cynthia J. Johnson, McFarland & Company, 2000.

“American Self-Taught Art: An Illustrated Analysis of 20th Century Artists and Trends with 1,319 Capsule Biographies” by Florence Laffal and Julius Laffal, 2003.

“Sublime Spaces & Visionary Worlds: Built Environments of Vernacular Artists,” by Leslie Umberger, Erika Doss, Ruth DeYoung Kohler, Lisa Stone, and Jane Bianco, published by John Michael Kohler Arts Center and Princeton Architectural Press, 2007.

“Rare Visions and Roadside Revelations Coast to Coast Travel-o-Pedia” by Randy Mason, et. al., Kansas City Star Books, 2009.