Instruments of Faith

Special Exhibit

Instruments of Faith: The Life and Work of Ed Stilley

On exhibit February 4, 2019–January 11, 2020

Ed Stilley at his home in Hogscald Holler, 1997. Flip Putthoff, photographer. Courtesy Kelly Mullhollan.

Ed Stilley at his home in Hogscald Holler, 1997. Flip Putthoff, photographer. Courtesy Kelly Mullhollan.

Ed Stilley was born in 1930 in Carroll County, Arkansas, to Will and Sarah Stilley. He has lived most of his life near the Carroll County area known as “Hogscald Holler.”

In 1979 Stilley received a directive from God to build musical instruments and give them away to children. For the next twenty-five years, without any musical training, he made over 200 instruments. Each of the instruments was built with odds and ends from around his home near Hogscald, where he lived with his wife, Eliza, and their five children. Ed Stilley stopped making instruments in 2004, only because his hands could no longer do the work required to construct an instrument.

Instruments of Faith features more than twenty handmade Stilley instruments, all on loan to the museum from private collectors.

Instruments of Faith: The Life and Work of Ed Stilley

On exhibit February 4, 2019–January 11, 2020

Ed Stilley at his home in Hogscald Holler, 1997. Flip Putthoff, photographer. Courtesy Kelly Mullhollan.

Ed Stilley at his home in Hogscald Holler, 1997. Flip Putthoff, photographer. Courtesy Kelly Mullhollan.

Ed Stilley was born in 1930 in Carroll County, Arkansas, to Will and Sarah Stilley. He has lived most of his life near the Carroll County area known as “Hogscald Holler.”

In 1979 Stilley received a directive from God to build musical instruments and give them away to children. For the next twenty-five years, without any musical training, he made over 200 instruments. Each of the instruments was built with odds and ends from around his home near Hogscald, where he lived with his wife, Eliza, and their five children. Ed Stilley stopped making instruments in 2004, only because his hands could no longer do the work required to construct an instrument.

Instruments of Faith features more than twenty handmade Stilley instruments, all on loan to the museum from private collectors.