Everyone has stories to tell from both the private and mutual experiences encountered throughout their lifetime. American folk and self-taught artists capture these stories in powerful visual narratives that offer firsthand testimonies to chapters in the unfolding story of America from its inception to the present. American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collectionshowcases over 80 stellar works of folk and self-taught art. Beautiful, diverse, and truthful; the art illuminates the thoughts and experiences of individuals with an immediacy that is palpable and unique to these expressions. American Perspectives includes assemblages, needlework, paintings, pottery, quilts, and sculpture; these artworks held meaning in the makers’ worlds filtered through their own perceptions.
The artworks are organized into four sections—Founders, Travelers, Philosophers, and Seekers—that 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.
This exhibition has been organized by the American Folk Art Museum, NY, with support provided by Art Bridges. Originally curated for installation at the American Folk Art Museum February 11, 2020–January 3, 2021 by Stacy C. Hollander, independent curator. Tour coordinated by Emelie Gevalt, Curator of Folk Art and Curatorial Chair for Collections, the American Folk Art Museum.