(1912-1988 | USA)

In 1968, tired of mowing his lawn, retired railway upholsterer John Milkovisch (1912-1988) concreted over his garden and embedded thousands of marbles, buttons, rocks and pieces of metal in the paths, the walls and the wooden fence. When his wife, Mary, asked him to clad the walls of their clapboard bungalow with aluminum, he decided to use flattened beer cans. Over a period of 18 years he attached tens of thousands of cans to the walls, making a feature of the printed designs. He hung the pull-tabs, tops and bottoms in strings from the roof to form curtains that shimmered and jingled as they turned in the wind. He also used cans to repair and decorate the outside fences and to make planters, arches, sculptures and whirligigs. After the Milkovisch died, the house was acquired by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art and after restoring it by replacing the corroded sections with donated vintage beer cans, it was reopened to the public in 2008.

Nel 1968, stanco di tagliare il suo prato, il pensionato John Milkovisch (1912-1988), coprì di cemento il giardino di casa incastrandoci migliaia di pezzi di marmo, bottoni, pietre e pezzi di metallo ad formare sentieri e pareti, chiudendo il tutto in un recinto in legno. Quando sua moglie Mary gli chiese di rivestire le pareti del loro bungalow con alluminio, lui decise di utilizzare lattine di birra pressate. In 18 anni attaccò decine di migliaia di lattine alle pareti, creando disegni attraverso la particolare disposizione dei pezzi. Appese le linguette di estrazione a stringhe legate e fatte scendere dal tetto a formare tende scintillanti e tintinnanti al vento. Usò anche lattine per riparare e decorare le recinzioni esterne, per creare fioriere, archi, sculture e girandole. Dopo la morte di Milkovisch, la casa venne acquistata dall’Orange Show Center for Visionary Art e, dopo averla restaurata sostituendo le sezioni corrose grazie a nuove lattine, fu riaperto al pubblico nel 2008.

John Milkovisch and his house ©
View of front of house before beer cans, circa 1968, ©
View of front yard and house, circa 1986, ©
View of south fence at driveway, circa 1986, ©
Detail view of can curtain on west elevation of house, ©
The Beer Can House, ©
The Beer Can House, detail, ©
The Beer Can House, detail, ©
The Beer Can House, detail, ©

The Beer Can House
222 Malone St., Houston, TX 77007
currently open Saturday and Sunday from 12-5pm

The Beer Can House, The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art