The Doof Museum of Culture and History - established 2005
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Ben Travers - Sculptor (American 1923-82)
This mildly known sculptor created Doofs for the majority of his artistic career. He focused his work on two forms of Doofs. One took the form of mammoth iconic Doofs, fabricated out of cortex steel and rose to a height of 60 to 70’. The other were intimate bronzes of acrobatic, dancing Doofs. While in high school, Travers gravitated toward shop courses and became a certified welder by the time he was 16. He joined the Navy in 1940, when he was 17. Was discharged in 1953 when he was 30. Travers, with the help of the GI bill, went to art school. Afterwards, he made his living as a welder and part time sculpture instructor, filling in at a small local art college. Travers was inspired by the american artist, David Smith. Travers for six months created colossal geometric abstract sculptures that were very similar in style to Smith’s postwar work. That all changed when Travers was introduced to the Doof by P.T. Brown, an art history professor who taught at the same art college as Travers. Travers instantly had strong creative feelings about the Doof and immediately went back to his studio and started making maquettes for future colossal Doofs. Through all his career, Travers was intent on creating colossal Doofs for public places but received few commissions. Although he publicly professed to work in only blue collar materials such as iron and steel, Travers, towards the end of his life, began to cast beautifully delicate bronze Doofs that revealed a uniquely sensual touch. In the sculptor’s eyes, the Doof was not two dimensional but a being with weight and balance. He was married four times and had six children. He died in 1982 while working in his studio at the age of 59.