‘Folk Art’ is a misunderstood term in Britain, often used to mean ‘unsophisticated’ or ‘primitive’. In American museums, the term simply refers to the artistic legacy of ordinary folks living in pre-industrial America. The American Museum’s folk art collection testifies to the exuberant resourcefulness of art and home decoration made ‘by the people, for the people’.
As part of the Museum’s fiftieth-anniversary celebrations, the Museum’s folk art treasures were redisplayed in an acclaimed new gallery. A monumental Lady Liberty (commissioned from renowned weathervane artists, Karen and Gordon Green) stands alongside the historic pieces – a reminder of the continuing tradition of handcrafting objects that are both functional and decorative in a world where almost everything is mass produced.
Folk Art from the American Museum in Britain (Scala Publishers, 2011) is available for purchase.
Folk Art from The American Museum in Britain
The scope of the American Museum’s folk art collection ranges from the late eighteenth to early twentieth centuries.
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