April eNews 2011

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American Folk Art Museum

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ARTISTS’ RECEPTION, VIDEO SCREENING, AND VIEWING OF THE LOST HEROES ART QUILT
Wednesday, April 20
4–5:30 pm
Open to Patron members

FOLK ART FRIENDS WEEK
Saturday, May 21–Friday, May 27
Members receive complimentary admission for up to three accompanying guests.

MEMBERS’ BREAKFAST AND CURATORIAL TOUR
Wednesday, May 25
9 am
Breakfast and tour with the museum’s senior curator, Stacy C. Hollander
Bring along up to three guests.

To RSVP for member events, please contact Elizabeth Kingman, membership manager, at 212. 265. 1040, ext. 346, or ekingman@folkartmuseum.org.

Not a member? Click here to join today!

More than 24,000 people came to see “Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts,” presented by the museum at the Park Avenue Armory last month. It was the largest exhibition of quilts ever held in New York City. Visitors from around the world filled guest books with thank-you notes expressing their gratitude to Joanna S. Rose for sharing her singular collection, and many have posted images to the museum’s Flickr group. We will upload footage of lectures and interviews to our YouTube channel soon.

This magical but ephemeral moment will ultimately be captured in the pages of a fully illustrated catalog copublished by the American Folk Art Museum and written by Elizabeth V. Warren, guest curator of this spectacular presentation. Stay tuned for information about the publication date.

A digital guide to the exhibition, including images of all 650 quilts that were on display, is available as a free app for your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, or Android smart phone. Go to the Apple iTunes App Store or Android Market for the free download.

Exhibitions

Perspectives: Forming the Figure (through August 21, 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; Part II: May 10–October 16, 2011)

This two-part exhibition anchors 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

Tours and Exhibition Programs

For a full calendar of tours and gallery programs, click here.

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


Alzheimer’s Program: Folk Art Reflections
Thursdays, April 7 and 21
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.

Museum admission and program are free. Registration is required.
Info/registration: 212. 265. 1040, ext. 381

Folk Art Reflections is offered the first and third Thursday of every month.

Folk Art Fun

Connect and Interact with the Museum

The American Folk Art Museum has a YouTube channel. Watch senior curator Stacy C. Hollander and guest curator Elizabeth V. Warren highlight some of the many bedcovers currently on view in “Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum” and check back often for more behind-the-scenes tours and collection highlights.

We have also launched a Flickr group so that visitors to the museum may share photos. If you have images from your museum experience you would like to share with us, join and upload!

And don′t forget to stay in touch with the museum through Facebook and Twitter.

Collection Highlight

The completion of the Empire State Building in 1931 marked the culmination of years of high-rise construction in New York City. At 1,250 feet, the steel-and-limestone structure was the tallest skyscraper in the world until 1972, when the city’s World Trade Center towers were built. The famous stepped-back silhouette of the Empire State Building was a response to the city’s 1916 zoning ordinance, the first comprehensive zoning law passed in the United States.

Oral tradition maintains that this model was made shortly after the completion of the building by an ironworker who had participated in the construction of the skyscraper. Despite its imposing size—it is nearly eight feet tall—the hollow model was constructed without nails or glue. The small pieces of wood interlock in a variation of “crown of thorns,” a technique typically used for small projects such as picture frames that became popular toward the end of the nineteenth century. Because Empire State Building was made around 1931, the sculpture lacks the television tower that was installed above the original dirigible mooring mast in 1951.

Empire State Building is on permanent view in the museum′s mezzanine.

Shop Highlight
Eugene Von Bruenchenhein Exhibition Catalog

By Brett Littman, with a preface by Maria Ann Conelli. New York: American Folk Art Museum, 2011. 76 pages, 35 full-color illustrations, softcover, 6 3/4 x 8 3/4 in.

Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910–1983) was one of the most complex and multifaceted American self-taught artists. Born in Marinette, Wisconsin, he was from an early age self-identified as an artist. Over a 50-year period, between the late 1930s until his death in 1983, Von Bruenchenhein produced expansive bodies of work in poetry, photography, ceramics, sculpture, painting, and drawing. The exhibition Eugene Von Bruenchenhein: “Freelance Artist—Poet and Sculptor—Inovator—Arrow maker and Plant man—Bone artifacts constructor—Photographer and Architect—Philosopher,” which this catalog accompanies, marks the first New York museum presentation of his work across all disciplines.

Regular price: $19.95
Member price: $15.96

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

Folk Art Challenge

Thanks to everyone who entered March’s Folk Art Fun contest and congratulations to our winner, James Holmes. Prior to his artistic experimentation, which began at age 64, Joseph Garlock worked in Bloomfield, New Jersey, at a fruit and vegetable store.

This month’s challenge:

Nellie Mae Rowe (1900–1982) of Vinings, Georgia, worked with readily available materials, such as colored pencils, pencils, felt-tipped pens, and paper for her drawings, and Styrofoam food trays, wallpaper sample books, wood, and chewing gum for her sculptures. She had an early interest in drawing and fashioning cloth dolls, possibly influenced by her parents who were both skilled craftspeople. What type of handiwork did each of her parents pursue?

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.

IN THE WORLD (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

EMPIRE STATE BUILDING / artist unidentified / New Jersey / c. 1931 / Cherry / 94 x 30 x 30 in. / American Folk Art Museum purchase made possible through the generosity of the Briskin Family Fund in honor of Frank Maresca, 1999.3.1 / photo by John Parnell

UNTITLED (Nellie in Her Yard) / Nellie Mae Rowe (1900–1982) / Vinings, Georgia / 1978 / felt-tip marker and pencil on Foamcore / 17 1/2 x 20 in. / American Folk Art Museum, gift of Judith Alexander, 1997.5.1 / photo by Gavin Ashworth

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