January 2011 eNews

This e-mail has been forwarded by Catherine Smith (csmithsmithusa@gmail.com)

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American Folk Art Museum

Happy New Year!

We have been eagerly anticipating the month of January, which is always a bustling time at the museum. Be sure to take advantage of the exciting programs and events during The American Antiques Show, including tours, appraisals, book signings, and, of course, the Gala Preview benefitting the museum.

And don’t forget, one of the benefits of museum membership is the opportunity to participate in the Folk Art Explorers program. There are still a few spots available for the Insider’s Day of Art and Antiques taking place during The American Antiques Show. To register or for more information, please contact Elizabeth Kingman at 212. 265. 1040, ext. 346, or ekingman@folkartmuseum.org.

We look forward to seeing you in January!


Perspectives: Forming the Figure (through August 2011)

The idea of character is thematically relevant to a deeper exploration of traditional folk art and the work of contemporary self-taught artists, a far-reaching field that pervades a broad spectrum of American culture and reflects many different communities. This exhibition, the second installment of the “Perspectives” series organized by the museum’s education department, examines some of the many facets of figure in works from the permanent collection. More >

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (through October 9, 2011)

“Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: ‘Freelance Artist—Poet and Sculptor—Inovator—Arrow maker and Plant man—Bone artifacts constructor—Photographer and Architect—Philosopher’” focuses on the formal leitmotifs of leaves and floral patterns as organizing principles in Von Bruenchenhein’s multidisciplinary oeuvre. More >

Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum (Part I: through April 24, 2011; Part II: May 10–October 16, 2011)

Part I of this exhibition launched the Year of the Quilt, the museum’s celebration of a glorious American art form and the creative contributions of three centuries of talented women. Highlighting textile masterpieces in the collection, the presentations include recent gifts, bedcovers that have rarely been on view, and important cornerstones of the museum’s comprehensive quilt holdings. More >

Super Stars: Quilts from the American Folk Art Museum (through September 25, 2011, at the museum’s Branch Location at 2 Lincoln Square)

Quiltmakers have always sought inspiration from the world around them, introducing the outdoors into the domestic interior through bedcovers that may reflect the colors of the landscape, the imagery of flowers in a garden, or animal and insect life. These associations are explored in the exhibition “Super Stars,” which highlights the dazzling diversity of this variable pattern in more than one hundred years of quilt artistry. More >

Upcoming Programs & Events
Exhibition Tours
Every Tuesday and Thursday at 1 pm

All tours and gallery programs are open to the public and free with museum admission. Info: 212. 265. 1040, ext. 381, or grouptours@folkartmuseum.org.

For a full calendar of tours and gallery programs, click here.
Note: There is no gallery tour on Tuesday, January 25.

Alzheimer′s Program: Folk Art Reflections
Thursdays, January 6 and 20, 2–3:30 pm

The museum is pleased to offer Folk Art Reflections, interactive and discussion-based programs for individuals with Alzheimer’s and their family members or caregivers. Twice every month, museum educators and docents explore a different theme or artist with the participants, bringing the world of folk art to life through conversation.

Info/registration: 212. 265. 1040, ext. 381. Registration required. Museum admission and program are free.
Folk Art Reflections is offered the first and third Thursday of every month.

The American Antiques Show
Thursday–Sunday, January 20–23

This annual benefit for the museum features 300 years of great American design: folk art, furniture, fine and decorative arts, jewelry, ceramics, silver, American arts and crafts, and American Indian art. Special programming includes tours, a day trip to a private home collection, appraisals, and book signings.

Gala Benefit Preview: Wednesday, January 19

For complete details, visit www.theamericanantiquesshow.org.

Year of the Quilt Workshops: A Day with Meg Cox
Saturday, January 29

11 am–noon
Lecture: What Is a Quilt? And Why You Should Make One
$10 (includes museum admission)

1–5 pm
Workshop: Your First Quilt Today: A Frida Kahlo Wall Hanging
Meg Cox has created a kit for making a quilted wall hanging featuring a striking central panel composed of contemporary fabric printed with images of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. More>
Level: Beginner
Workshop fee: $60; $55 members, seniors, students (includes lecture fee)
Materials fee: $25 (payable to instructor)
This workshop is sponsored by Simplicity.

Registration: 212. 265. 1040, ext. 105 (space is limited)

Year of the Quilt Workshops: Simple Symmetry
Saturday, February 26

11 am–3 pm

Learn how a single template and one intricately printed fabric can be used to create a complex quilt quickly. Paula Nadelstern’s technique explores and exploits the virtues of bilaterally symmetrical fabric. Participants will feel like they’re making magic when motifs connect to their respective mirror images, creating effects more wonderful than ever imagined. More>
Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Workshop fee: $50; $45 members, seniors, students
Materials fee:
$26 (payable to instructor)

Registration: 212. 265. 1040, ext. 105 (space is limited)

Folk Art Fun

Collection Highlight

The concept of a freedom quilt can be traced at least as far back as the Civil War, when women were urged to “prick the slave-owner’s conscience” by embroidering antislavery slogans and images into their needlework. Although the existence of Underground Railroad quilts has not been documented except through oral tradition, the idea that quilts were used to encode paths to freedom has persisted into the present. This is one of several freedom quilts that Jessie Telfair made as a response to losing her job after she attempted to register to vote. It evokes the civil rights era through the powerful invocation of one word, “freedom,” formed from bold block letters along a horizontal axis. Mimicking the stripes of the American flag, it is unclear whether the use of red, white, and blue is ironic or patriotic, or both.

Shop Highlight
Vintage Pool Ball Stopper

Rack up some style with this unusual bottle stopper. Crafted from vintage pool balls, these colorful bottle stoppers make a practical gift filled with character and whimsy. Shades, materials, and textures will vary; please allow us to choose the color and number of your stopper.

Regular price: $32.00
Member price: $25.60

To order, please call 212. 265. 1040, ext. 124.

Folk Art Challenge

Thanks to everyone who entered December’s Folk Art Fun contest and congratulations to our winner, Sarah Vollmann. The German word Kobold means goblin or gnome, a nod to the poisonous fumes this arsenic compound emits upon smelting.

This month’s challenge: Sam Doyle, who lived on South Carolina’s St. Helena Island, drew as a young boy in school and later as a young man, but it was not until the 1960s, after he retired, that he was finally able to devote himself full-time to artmaking. He proudly shared his robust paintings by displaying them in the “St. Helena Outdoor Art Gallery.” Where on the island was this “gallery” located?

To win a copy of Painted Saws/Jacob Kass, e-mail your answer to Elizabeth Kingman at ekingman@folkartmuseum.org, with “Folk Art Fun” in the subject line.

LEAVES and FLOWERS / Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910–1983) / Milwaukee / c. 1940s–1970s / clay and paint on clay / various dimensions / collection of Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz / photo by Gavin Ashworth

(detail) / Consuelo “Chelo” González Amézcua (1903–1975) / Del Rio, Texas / 1962 / ballpoint pen on paper / 28 x 22 in. / American Folk Art Museum, Blanchard-Hill Collection, gift of M. Anne Hill and Edward V. Blanchard Jr., 1998.10.1 / photo by Gavin Ashworth

UNTITLED (detail) / Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910–1983) / Milwaukee / c. 1940s–mid-1950s / gelatin silver print / 10 x 8 in. / American Folk Art Museum, gift of Lewis and Jean Greenblatt, 2000.1.4 / photo by Gavin Ashworth

HARLEQUIN MEDALLION QUILT (detail) / artist unidentified / New England / 1800–1820 / glazed wool / 87 x 96 in. / American Folk Art Museum, gift of Cyril Irwin Nelson in loving memory of his grandparents John Williams and Sophie Anna Macy, 1984.33.1 / photo by Matt Hoebermann

STAR OF BETHLEHEM WITH SATELLITE STARS QUILT (detail) / artist unidentified / possibly Pennsylvania / 1930–1950 / cotton and blends / 81 1/4 x 81 in. / American Folk Art Museum, gift of Mr. and Mrs. Frederick M. Danziger, 1985.4.1

PLAYING CARDS / Clementine Hunter (1886/87–1988) / Natchitoches, Louisiana / 1970 / oil on canvas board / 18 x 24 in. / American Folk Art Museum, gift of the Mildred Hart Bailey/Clementine Hunter Art Trust, 1996.1.2 / photo by Gavin Ashworth

KALEIDOSCOPIC XVI: MORE IS MORE (detail) / Paula Nadelstern (b. 1951) / Bronx, New York / dated 1996 / cottons and silk / 64 x 64 in. / American Folk Art Museum, gift of the artist, 2008.21.1 / photo by Karen Bell

FREEDOM QUILT / Jessie B. Telfair (1913–1986) / Parrott, Georgia / dated 1983 / cotton with pencil / 74 x 68 in. / American Folk Art Museum, gift of Judith Alexander in loving memory of her sister, Rebecca Alexander, 2004.9.1 / photo by Gavin Ashworth

ABE. KANE / Sam Doyle (1906–1985) / St. Helena Island, South Carolina / c. 1970s / house paint on plywood / 30 x 48 x 1/2 in. / American Folk Art Museum, gift of Dorothea and Leo Rabkin, 2002.4.10

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