Sunday, June 13, 2010

Museum Report #2: The American Folk Art Museum

The American Folk Art Museum is a really interesting institution i've kind of seen evolve- it used to be housed across the street from Lincoln Center and focus mainly on 18th & 19th century handcrafts, but in 2001 it moved to a modernist building on the same block as moma and expanded the collection into 20th century outsider art (there's a ton of Darger things up) and a more politico-historical view of its older holdings; there's currently a show up called 'Women Only: Folk art by Female Hands' that explores the media and modes of expression open to 19th & early 20th century women.

Personally, I love the simultaneous naivete & sophistication of early american portraiture.

These two children were painted by Ammi Phillips, who was known for this sort of portraiture- I love the softness of his faces contrasted with the brightly coloured abstracted geometry of the dresses. Plus, thats an awesomely weird looking cat.

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