May eNews 2011

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Subject: May eNews 2011

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Saturday, May 21–Friday, May 27

Members receive complimentary admission for up to three accompanying guests.

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

Not a member? Click here to join today!

Download and print the 2011 Museum Discovery Pass for unlimited two-for-one admission to the following museums this spring:

American Folk Art Museum
Asia Society Museum
International Center of Photography
The Jacques Marchais Museum of Tibetan Art
Museum of Arts and Design
Museum of Chinese in America
The Noguchi Museum
Rubin Museum of Art

Valid through May 31, 2011

As part of the Blue Star Museums program, the museum is pleased to offer free admission to active military and their families from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend (Friday, May 27–Sunday, September 4, 2011). This offer is valid for the following personnel: U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and active-duty National Guard and Army Reserves. Simply show your active-duty military personnel or military family I.D. at the admission desk for free entry.

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 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 >

Traveling Exhibition-Kaleidoscope Quilts: The Art of Paula Nadelstern (June 18–October 2, 2011, at the Akron Art Museum, Akron, Ohio)

Every artist must find a voice that feels true and strong. Paula Nadelstern (b. 1951) found hers early in her career as a quilt artist, inspired by a bolt of sensuous and beautiful Liberty of London fabric. The bilateral symmetry of the design was an epiphany that stirred Nadelstern’s imagination and that has yielded a seemingly infinite vein of creative expression for more than twenty years. More >

Online catalog available

The exhibition will travel to the School of Art and Design at Endicott College, Beverly, Massachusetts, March 25–June 16, 2012.

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

Alzheimer’s Program: Folk Art Reflections
Thursdays, May 5 and 19
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.

Chicken Bones and Feathers: The Art of Eugene Von Bruenchenhein
Friday, May 6
6–7 pm

An illustrated lecture about the fantasy world of the Milwaukee visionary who inventively repurposed chicken bones into intricate works of art.

Speaker: Anton Rajer, trustee and foundation coordinator, Nek Chand Foundation, Madison, Wisconsin

Registration: 212. 265. 1040, ext. 105, or
Space is limited.

Families and Folk Art
Saturday, May 7
1–2:30 pm

Artists’ Materials
Folk artists use many different materials, from paint and clay to chicken bones and tin cans. Look at several works on view in the galleries that incorporate both traditional and unconventional materials, then create your own wire sculpture to take home.

Families and Folk Art is offered the first Saturday of every month from 1 to 2:30 pm. The program introduces children ages 4 to 12 and their accompanying adults to folk art through interactive and discussion-based tours in the galleries followed by hands-on artmaking activities inspired by objects in the museum.

Info: 212. 265. 1040, ext. 148, or Free with museum

Families and Folk Art is supported by Phyllis L. Kossoff.

Save the Date—June 5, 2011: Occidental Gypsy Concert Benefitting the American Folk Art Museum

9 pm
Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, New York City

Deeply rooted in Gypsy musical traditions and with a genuine love of pop, Occidental Gypsy brings two worlds together in an uncommon yet wonderful experience. The band will donate $1 from each sold ticket, as well as proceeds from sale of their merchandise, to the American Folk Art Museum.

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 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 museumthrough Facebookand Twitter.

Collection Highlight

Husband and wife Clarence and Grace Woolsey began to make bottle-cap figures in 1961, when they were employed as farmhands in Iowa. They coined their projects “caparena,” meaning “caps in the arena.″ Over a period of ten years, they created several hundred sculptures—buildings, animals, vehicles, and fantasy figures resembling rabbits—and exhibited them twice. Lack of public interest discouraged the couple, however, and they abandoned their hobby. Twenty years later, their sculptures resurfaced at an auction of the farm where the Woolseys had placed the works in storage.

Shop Highlight: Gee’s Bend Housetops Rug

Hand loomed in a fine cotton flat weave, this striking rug features the design and colors of the Housetops quilt pattern created by Linda Pettway, a member of the acclaimed quilt collective from the rural community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Rug manufactured in India. 5 x 3 ft.

Regular price: $99.00
Member price: $79.20

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

Folk Art Challenge

Thanks to everyone who entered April’s Folk Art Fun contest and congratulations to our winner, Joseph Gullo. Nellie Mae Rowe (1900–1982) had an early interest in drawing and fashioning cloth dolls, possibly influenced by her parents George and Luella Swanson Williams, both of whom were skilled craftspeople—he an expert basketmaker, she an experienced quiltmaker.

This month’s challenge:

This delightful crewelwork picture bears no clue to its maker’s identity. Its small size suggests that she was very young, and after it was finished and framed, she must have smiled whenever she saw the result. The word crewel, with varied spelling, applied to slackly twisted two-ply worsted yarn.

Canvaswork pictures were stitched by English girls in the 17th century, but Boston’s earliest-known canvaswork picture is dated 1739. It is also signed by the artist. Do you know her name?

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

FLAG GATE (detail) / Artist unidentified / Jefferson County, New York / c. 1876 / paint on wood with iron and brass / 39 1/2 x 57 x 3 3/4 in. / American Folk Art Museum, gift of Herbert Waide Hemphill Jr., 1962.1.1 / photo by John Parnell

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

KALEIDOSCOPIC XXX: TREE GRATE, 53RD AND 7TH / Paula Nadelstern (b. 1951) / Bronx, New York / 2004 / machine-pieced and hand-quilted cotton and silk / 51 1/2 x 58 1/2 in. / collection of the artist / photo by Luke Mulks and Diane Pedersen, courtesy C&T Publishing

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

GOLD THRONE / Eugene Von Bruenchenhein (1910–1983) / Milwaukee / c. late 1960s / paint on chicken bones and turkey bones / 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. / American Folk Art Museum, promised gift of Barbara Blank and Barry Shapiro, P15.2000.1 / photo by John Parnell

UNTITLED FIGURES / Clarence Woolsey (?–1987) and Grace Woolsey (?–1992) / vicinity of Lincoln, Iowa / second half 20th century / mixed media with bottle caps / 33 1/2–50 1/2 in. high / American Folk Art Museum, gift of George H. Meyer, 2007.22.1 / photo by Gavin Ashworth

CREWELWORK PICTURE / artist unidentified / New England, probably Massachusetts / c. 1750–1760 / wool on linen / 9 x 7 3/8 in. / American Folk Art Museum, gift of Ralph Esmerian, 2005.8.52 / photo courtesy Sotheby’s, New York

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