Before leaving Sauk County, we should stop at Dr. Evermor's Art Park, in the form of a read through Tom Kupsh's informative A Mythic Obsession: The World of Dr. Evermor (Chicago Review Press). Dr. Evermor, if you haven't heard the name, is the visionary welding artist who created the world's biggest scrap metal sculpture (according to the Guinness Book of World Records) in the form of the Forevertron, an indescribable time-travel chamber that is too large to fit into one photographic frame.
Anyone who's wandered into the Art Park (just off Hwy. 12, across from the Badger Army Ammunition Plant, on the way to Devil's Lake) will inevitably wonder what the story is behind the Forevertron, the Epicurean, the Gravitron, the Celestial Listening Ears, the Bird Band and all the other built and unbuilt salvage just on the other side of the fence, virtually hidden from the traffic passing by.
Kupsh, former creative director for House on the Rock, has known Dr. Evermor (real name: Tom Every) for many years, since he too worked at House on the Rock, collecting artifacts and developing such oddities as the organ room for owner Alex Jordan. At that time, Every and his wife, Eleanor, lived in the Highlands on Madison's west side.
Kupsh delves into the family history to track the gradual transformation of salvage man Tom Every to his alter ego Dr. Evermor, who comes complete with a backstory of Victorian time travel - and, as one might expect, a lot of other miscellaneous stuff.
Although the book doesn't really place Evermor in the context of other outsider artists, there is no more informative book extant about the artist. Kupsh has gathered an impressive amount of source material and interviewed most of the principals including Tom and Eleanor Every. I think it's safe to say that anyone who's ever been pulled into - and confused by - Dr. Evermor's world at the Art Park will find this absorbing...and if you haven't been to the Art Park, for crying out loud, go.