"The Civil War has left its mark on two important pieces of vernacular furniture acquired by the Wadsworth Atheneum"
"There has never been another artist like George Caleb Bingham"
The exhibition of an important collection of folk art at the Worcester Art Museum this summer gives us the opportunity to draw attention to the renaissance of a great museum in a city that is also busily being reborn.
One sign of an important exhibition may be its ability to move us into unfamiliar territory. By that measure, as by others, the recent show at the American Folk Art Museum, When the Curtain Never Comes Down, has claimed our attention. Its twenty-seven self-taught/outsider artists are represented by both permanent works— assemblages, garments, instruments, drawings, and the like—but more significantly by their actions in movement, song, and other forms of evanescent self-display. In the current art climate it is a relief to encounter art that for the most part cannot be bought or sold. But surely we are drawn to these evangelists of the self for other, deeper reasons