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The American Folk Art Museum

Years Strong: Looking Ahead With The American Folk Art Museum

Folk Art Reflections (dementia friendly) Video Visit: Quilts

Cordelia Hamilton and Adele Earnest, two of the museums co-founders. Photo courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum.

NEW YORK CITY When the American Folk Art Museum, then known as The Museum of Early American Folk Arts, adopted its charter in 1961, it was really a gallery over a deli in a townhouse, said Jason Busch, the museums director and chief executive officer. For what it lacked and it lacked quite a bit: a permanent home, an endowment, even a collection it made up for in its perseverance and vision, one that was, notably, a forebearer of the great push for diversity in art that institutions are frenetically scrambling to fill today.

The museum now spans two boroughs in New York City, its gleaming gallery in Lincoln Square pulsing with energy beamed over from its administrative offices, archives and library that reside in Long Island City, Queens.

The six decades since its inception have been an evolution for the institution, which adopted its current name in 2001.

Installation shot of the 1974 exhibition Folk Art Underfoot. Photo courtesy of the American Folk Art Museum.

There are words that regularly crop up in conversations about folk art that directly relate to the predicament many museums found themselves in when the pandemic jeopardized their existence this past March. Among them are sidelined and survival.

Curator of folk art Emelie Gevalt led viewers through a virtual tour of Signature Styles: Friendship, Album, and Fundraising Quilts.

A Message From The Director And Ceo Jason T Busch

Dear Friend,

Holiday greetings from the American Folk Art Museum! It has been a busy and exciting season of programs, exhibitions, and announcements.

Our marquee exhibition, American Weathervanes: The Art of the Winds has been the subject of glowing reviews and mentions in The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, and Channel Thirteen. The exhibition has been visited by thousands of people, including Tony-award-winning actor Andrew Garfield. Noting that the Museum is one of the actors favorite New York haunts, CBS News correspondent Rita Braver walked and talked with Garfield through the exhibition. On the topic of weathervanes, Garfield noted: The craftsmanship and the detail and turning something so simple and practical into a piece of art, thats one of the great things that human beings do. Hear, hear!

The Museum continues to develop high-quality virtual programs and has seen this reflected in attendance numbers and overwhelmingly positive feedback. To date, AFAMs live-broadcast programs have served thousands of individuals from 36 different countries, as well as from across the United States and all five boroughs of New York. We have also begun to program intimate and select in-person experiences at the Museum, which include student programming, tours, talks, and music events.

In gratitude-

Join The Communityparticipate In The Museum’s Educational And Interactive Programs

The museum serves as an important source of information and scholarship in the field and hosts a wide array of events for every level of interest. Programs including lectures, panel discussions, and symposia make experts and cultural leaders accessible to the public. A variety of workshops and live musical performances are offered in the galleries each week, and school, summer camp, teen, and adult programs take place throughout the year. The museum is dedicated to making the study of folk and self-taught art available to and meaningful for all.

Visit the programs page to get involved.

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Slow Space And The American Folk Art Museum Demolition

In 1999 Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien wrote an article entitled On Slowness referring to the slow speed of hand drafting, the slow careful thought process of designing and the slow perception and experience of space. They quote Milan Kunderas novel Slowness and the powerful relationship between time and memory.

There is a secret bond between slowness and memory, between speed and forgetting. Consider this utterly commonplace situation: A man is walking down the street. At a certain moment, he tries to recall something, but the recollection escapes him. Automatically, he slows down. Meanwhile, a person who wants to forget a disagreeable incident he has just lived through starts unconsciously to speed up his pace, as if he were trying to distance himself from a thing still too close to him in time. In existential mathematics, that experience takes the form of two basic equations: the degree of slowness is directly proportional to the intensity of memory the degree of speed is directly proportional to the intensity of forgetting.

There is no singular powerful image able to sum it all up.

Update: I just learned that so many architects and others were upset by this and the hashtag #folkMOMA was created in protest of the demolition of the Folk Art Museum and the MOMA in general .

Faust On West 53rd Street: The Demise Of The American Folk Art Museum

Dear MoMA, Couldn

The fate of the former American Folk Art Museum has our columnist thinking about Marshall Berman and Goethe.

The Museum of Modern Art, in New York, plans to raze the former American Folk Art Museum later this year to make way for a luxury high-rise apartment building and museum expansion.

After philosopher and scholar Marshall Berman died in September, I reread portions of All That is Solid Melts into Air, his riveting 1982 polemic on the experience of modernity. In one of the most memorable sections, Berman casts Goethes Faust as a developer, setting the stage for a later chapter about Robert Moses and the Cross Bronx Expressway. As Berman tells it, Faustin close collaboration with Mephistoembarks on a monumental Tennessee Valley Authoritystyle reclamation scheme, creating harbors and canals along a previously untamed seaside. The whole region around him has been renewed, and a whole new society created in his image, Berman wrote. Only one small piece of ground along the coast remains as it was before. This is occupied by Philemon and Baucis, a sweet old couple who have been there from time out of mind. They have a little cottage on the dunes, a chapel with a little bell, a garden full of linden trees.

Interior of the AFAM, illustrating the buildings particularly quirky sectional changes, which would disrupt the continuous floorplates of MoMAs expansion.

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American Perspectives: Stories From The American Folk Art Museum Collection

Jessie B. Telfair , Freedom Quilt, 1983, Parrott, Georgia. Cotton, with pencil, 74 x 68 inches. Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York, gift of Judith Alexander in loving memory of her sister, Rebecca Alexander, 2004.9.1, photo by Gavin Ashworth.

Holmes and Titelman Galleries

In American Perspectives, explore powerful visual narratives that offer firsthand testimony to chapters in the unfolding story of America from its inception to the present. This exhibition highlights more than seventy stellar works of folk and self-taught art from the museums collection. Beautiful, diverse, and truthful, the art illuminates the thoughts and experiences of individuals with an immediacy that is palpable and unique to these expressions. The artworks are organized into four sections Founders, Travelers, Philosophers, and Seekers and respond to such themes as nationhood, freedom, community, imagination, opportunity, and legacy. Evocative visual juxtapositions and accessible contextual information further reveal the vital role that folk art plays as a witness to history, carrier of cultural heritage, and a reflection of the world at large through the eyes, heart, and mind of the artist.

3001 Riverside Park Drive

Virtual Tour: Alexander Girards Nativities

The museum’s holdings represent diverse cultures and constitute the largest collection of international folk art in the world. The core collection, donated by museum founder Florence Dibell Bartlett, from 34 countries has grown to over 130,000 objects from more than 100 countries. Explore our collections and Please Explore Our Online Museum Experiences!

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The Winds Of Time: American Folk Art Museum Glides Through The History Of Weather Vanes

Perched atop churches, barns, businesses, houses and seats of government, weather vanes have for hundreds of years taken the form of everything from farm animals to pets, storybook figures to race cars.

They were invented for one important job: telling which way the wind was blowing. Gradually, they became appreciated as an art form.

A new exhibition at the American Folk Art Museum in New York, “American Weathervanes: The Art of the Winds,” showcases the history, technical virtuosity and artistic beauty of vanes made between the late 18th and early 20th centuries. The free exhibit runs through Jan. 2.

“Weather vanes have always been at once tools and sculptural architectural elements, combining function with visual interest and symbolism,” the show’s curator, art historian Robert Shaw, writes in a companion book .

The weather vanes range from simple carved birds, fish, livestock and dogs to figures that seem to literally be riding the winds loping ponies, racing horses, fire trucks, and wildly imaginative witches, sea serpents and vehicles with many moving elements.

One work, “Dove of Peace,” was commissioned by George Washington. An amateur meteorologist, he asked Mount Vernon’s architect, Joseph Rakestraw, to design the dove-shaped weather vane with olive branches in its mouth.

The museum’s curator, Emelie Gevalt, cited the museum’s own “Hudsonian Curlew” as one of her favorites.


About The New Building

Folk Art Reflections (dementia friendly) Video Visit: Portraits

The new building will quadruple the Museum’s gallery space for the display of its expanded permanent collection and special exhibitions, provide educational facilities, and consolidate the staff offices. Tod Williams Billie Tsien and Associates’ first major public project in New York City, the new facility will fulfill the Museum’s long-term goal of establishing a permanent home for the study and appreciation of American folk art and allow the Museum to display a substantial number of artworks from its collection of 4,000 objects. It will also be home to the Museum’s Contemporary Center, dedicated to the study and appreciation of the work of contemporary self-taught artists. The Museum will continue operating its current gallery space, the Eva and Morris Feld Gallery at Lincoln Square, as a branch museum, ensuring a significant presence in two of New York’s most important cultural districts the Lincoln Center area and midtown Manhattan, near the Museum of Modern Art, the American Craft Museum, and the Museum of Television & Radio.

– Reviews of American Folk Art Museum

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Self Taught Art Across Time And Place

Since 1961, the American Folk Art Museum has been the leading institution shaping the understanding of art by the self-taught through its exhibitions, publications, and educational programs. As a center of scholarship, it showcases the creativity of individuals whose singular talents have been refined through personal experience rather than formal artistic training. Its collection includes more than eight thousand works of art from four centuries and nearly every continentfrom compelling portraits and dazzling quilts to powerful works by living artists in a variety of mediums.

Below, left: Interior of John Leavitts Tavern Joseph Warren Leavitt Chichester, New Hampshire c. 1825 watercolor, ink, and pencil on paper, in original maple frame 8 9/16 x 10 1/2 x 1/2 in. American Folk Art Museum, gift of Ralph Esmerian, 2005.8.5. Photo © John Bigelow Taylor, New York. Below, center: Untitled Henry Darger Chicago mid-twentieth century watercolor, pencil, carbon tracing, and collage on pieced paper 24 x 106 1/2 in. American Folk Art Museum, museum purchase with funds generously provided by John and Margaret Robson, 2004.1.3. © Kiyoko Lerner. Photo by James Prinz.

A celebration of an authentic American art

American Folk Art Museum

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American Folk Art Museum


The American Folk Art Museum is an art museum in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, at 2, Lincoln Square, Columbus Avenue at 66th Street. It is the premier institution devoted to the aesthetic appreciation of folk art and creative expressions of contemporary self-taught artists from the United States and abroad.

Its collection holds over 8,000 objects from the 18th century to the present. These works span both traditional folk art and the work of contemporary self-taught artists and Art Brut. In its ongoing exhibitions, educational programming, and outreach, the museum showcases the creative expressions of individuals whose talents developed without formal artistic training.

Admission is free. The museum had record yearly attendance of more than 130,000 visitors.

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Free Music Fridays At The American Folk Art Museum

Looking for a great way to spend a Friday nightfor free?! Then be sure to check out Free Music Fridays at the American Folk Art Museum! The UWS museum states that the music featured at the Free Music Fridays series thematically reflects the spirit of the self-taught art on view at the museum. There is a donation-based cash wine bar for music goers and admission is always free!

The Free Music Friday performances run from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, with three performers every evening! Each set is 35 minutes giving concertgoers a great sampling of music! Free Music Fridays are held most Fridays in the American Folk Art Museum at 2 Lincoln Square .

Free Music Fridays has been made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Thoughts On Slow Space And The American Folk Art Museum Demolition

  • Brooke Robinson May 17, 2017 at 10:36 am

    Every once in a while, I spend a day in NYC exploring a particular neighborhood or series of buildings. One of those days was spent patiently taking in the Folk Art Museum, appreciating the path of movement through space, natural light, thoughtful details, and beauty of the objects within. There was a certain intimacy to that experience that will, sadly, be lost forever.

    Thankfully, there are other wonderful slow spaces to explore within the hustle & bustle of NYCthe Museum of Chinese in America by Maya Lin, The Noguchi Museum, and Greenacre Park by Sasaki a Associates, to name a few.

    • Mette Aamodt May 19, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      Glad you got to experience it Brooke before it was demolished. I love your list of slow spaces in NYC. Thanks for that!

  • Tala Klinck May 23, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    I love that this building emphasizes the connection between the act of making the building to the life of the building and those who experienced it ..

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For Folk’s Sake Contemporary Artists + American Folk Art Museum: Benefit Auction 2021

The American Folk Art Museum and Artsy are excited to present For Folks Sake! featuring works by cutting-edge artists. As we celebrate our 60th Anniversary at AFAM, we continue to be the leading institution that shapes the understanding of the works of self-taught and folk artists. Through our exhibitions, publications, and educational programs, we are dedicated to art and ideas that expand the intersection of experience, learning, and community.

Browse lots and place bids before the sale closes on Wednesday, November 17th at 5pm EST.

To support the American Folk Art Museum, to make a donation. Thank you!

Please note: You may be required to provide documentation of your identity in a form acceptable to us and any other documentation in order to complete the purchase. Should you fail to provide this documentation within a reasonable amount of time your purchase will be cancelled.

Each work ships directly to buyer as soon as reasonably practicable. Buyers are responsible for shipping costs, which is additional and not included in sales cost.


Classic American Folk Art Book

Book Critical Issues in American Art. 127 American Folk Art Museum eNews. american folk art book.

American Folk Art Book, All American Folk Arts and Crafts. Widely collected her paintings are included in a number of permanent collections including those of the Museum of American Folk Art and the Smithsonian. 127 American Folk Art Museum eNews.

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American Anthem: Masterworks From The American Folk Art Museum

Including over 130 works, this exhibition was a song of praise to the nation, offering insight into American history and culture, and celebrating the spirit of independence and ingenuity that has marked American folk art from colonial days to the present. Within a chronological framework, thematic groupings allowed an examination of artists diverse responses to cultural priorities and influences, including politics, patriotism, religion and community.

A variety of media were offered in this exhibition, including beautiful, well-crafted functional objects, textiles, paintings and sculpture. Highlights included folk paintings by Grandma Moses, Horace Pippin and Ralph Fasanello, as well as Southern artists Howard Finster, Bill Traylor and Bessie Harvey. American Anthem:

Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum was organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York.

American Anthem was sponsored by Altria Group, Inc.

Privately Printed In Limited Quantity The 96

Tree of Life Whitework Quilt

Fast Download Speed Commercial Ad Free. American Folk Art Museum members receive a 10 discount on all shop items. Get free access to the library by create an account fast download and ads free. Generously illustrated with both black and white and full-color photos this A-Z encyclopedia covers every aspect of American folk art encompassing not only painting but also sculpture basketry. A Regional Reference offers a collection of fascinating essays on the life and work of 300 individual artists. Widely collected her paintings are included in a number of permanent collections including those of the Museum of American Folk Art and the Smithsonian.

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Recent titles published by the museum can be purchased online. This unique American folk art was created in twelve western prisons from 1890 to the 1930s. Treasures of American Folk Art. Fans of Charles Wysocki Mary Engelbreit Grandma Moses and folk art in general will fall in love with Folk Art Fusion. American Folk Art Sculpture. Country Sampler North American Folk Art Vol 1 By Jo Sonja And Etsy American Folk Art Painted Books Folk Art.

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