Masterpiece tramp art model church by John Kozimor, who started work on this amazing devotional folk art gem in 1919 and took over 30 years to complete. Kozimor while living in upstate NY made this church from a memory of one from his hometown in Poland. His only tool was a straight edged razor and it is made entirely out of cigar boxes and crate woods. The interior of the church is well appointed with an altar, Stations of the Cross in miniature tramp art frames, and gilded.
Kozimor’s final embellishment was the linoleum tile flooring to resemble the marble flooring of the church in Poland from his childhood memory. The entire structure is lighted and the back opens to access the interior. The family history relates to how Kozimor who did not smoke cigars would get the cigar boxes for his project from townsfolk who would leave empty boxes at his back porch. During holidays the side rooms of the church would be ‘dressed up’ with vignettes of religious significance and it would be taken to the town church to be shown to visiting dignitaries. According to a newspaper story in 1969 the church has won numerous awards.
In the historical photograph John Kozimor is the one seated. Kozimor’s wonderful carved legacy was illustrated in Tramp Art One Notch at a Time on page 56 and also in the book A Legacy in Tramp Art on pages 34 and 35.