Now in its 14th year, the Arkansas Living Treasure program annually recognizes an Arkansas artist who excels in the creation of a traditional craft and who actively preserves and advances his or her craft through community outreach and educating others.

An independent panel of practicing craft artists and professionals in the fields of craft and folk art will select the recipient based on the following criteria: quality of work, community outreach and total contribution to the field of traditional crafts. 

In 2013, the Arkansas Arts Council and Historic Arkansas Museum collaborated to produce a series of short films that celebrate the lives and work of each Arkansas Living Treasure recipient. Visit to enjoy the documentaries featured in the Arkansas Living Treasure Film Project. 

2014 Arkansas Living Treasure

Robert Runyan

Log Cabin Construction
Winslow, Arkansas 

Robert Runyan is a craftsman who has been building traditional log cabin and stone masonry structures for more than 40 years. He is self-taught and developed many of his skills through hands-on experience working for his father’s architectural design business. Robert uses “old world methods” in his log cabin construction that were used more than 700 years ago. This includes using antique hand tools and a team of mules to haul and hoist the logs and stones. 

His love and respect for nature is evident in his work as he only uses standing dead oak trees in his construction. He has elevated his craft into an art form and is dedicated to keeping the craft alive by teaching others the traditional construction techniques. Learn more about Robert here.