Norman Pettingill: Outsider artist from Superior

Has anyone heard of this guy? Norman Pettingill was born in Iron River in 1896. He moved to Superior in 1937. He was known for his “backwoods humor” postcards. A hardcover (plywood, actually) book on his work came out in 2010, with an introduction by R. Crumb, who published Norman’s work in the 1980s. He died in 1991.

These drawings are from 1948-53.



about 12 years ago

This is fascinating stuff... just put it on my wish list. Thanks!


about 12 years ago

Bam!  Just bought the last 13 dollar new copy off Amazon.   I ran Crumb four times on the big screen at college.  I remember the part where one of his porn star girl friends was describing his penis, then they flashed to his buggy eyes.  It was so raw and uncensored. And his collection of rare vinyl he painstakingly moved to France because he couldn't stand it here anymore. Thanks for the tip Dave.  Reminds me, does anyone have a good photo of the Blues Brothers on that bridge in Superior?

Paul Lundgren

about 12 years ago

This comment by "urbuddyandy" landed on the wrong page, so I'm pasting it in here:

A year or two ago I bought the Northwoods Surgery print from a lady on Park Point during the garage sale. I gave it to my Dad as a gift, he is a doctor, I called to see if he could get me any date or number on the print, he'll get back to me after work. The print was approx. 10x8 inches, in brass frame with no matte. I am curious if there were any other series printed or just the one in the '80s mentioned above. Thanks P.S. She had the Northwoods Tavern print for sale as well, but I left that one and now am kinda kicking myself for it. urbuddyandy | Nov 6, 2012


about 12 years ago

I'm pretty sure there are a bunch of these prints on the wall at Chesney Auto Salvage.


about 11 years ago

I absolutely recognize this work!  Dang.  My 82 year old uncle who has since passed away used to to talk about this guy all of the time.  Had I known, he would have LOVED to have seen the book.  In the little museum in Gordon, there is a framed piece of his work that depicts my Great Aunt Gin and Uncle Floyd who used to own the Trading Post Bar out in Barnes.  I haven't seen it in years, but it is really comical.  It says something about Floyd stealing the "Belle of Gordon" and they are drawn up to look like two "hillbillies."   I believe it was an anniversary gift to them.  My Uncle also used to talk about a man who lived in a cabin somewhere near where the Gordon Correctional Facility is today and did illustrations for early national outdoor magazines.  I've never heard anyone else mention this and it kills me he isn't here to ask again about that.

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