What we talk about when we talk about naive art

Editorial Staff Art

Late in the 1970s, sailing in the Grenadines, my wife Brigitte and I stopped at the small island of Bequia—an Arawak name meaning “is­land of the clouds.” It has now become a tourist stop. Port Elizabeth, its principal town, today advertises a “charming waterfront; take a stroll from the vegetable market, follow ‘front street’ with its many shops, boutiques and …

Making friends with fraktur: Some thoughts on the exhibition Drawn with Spirit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Editorial Staff Exhibitions

If you are fraktur ignorant, fraktur agnostic, or fraktur allergic, this is an exhibition that should win you over. From its opening moment where a huge curving wall enlarges a small 1834-1835 gem of Adam and Eve attributed to Samuel Gottschall, the visitor is primed for seduction. How cunning of this artist to have depicted Eve being seduced by a …

Subject and object: The collection of Philip Pearlstein

Editorial Staff Art

from The Magazine ANTIQUES, July/August 2013. The arcane logic that unites the naked human form with a metal fan, a duck decoy, and an inflatable King Tut effigy may not seem self-evident to the average art lover: but for the past generation, these two subsets of creation have come together in the paintings of Philip Pearlstein. An avid collector of …

Folk art rising

Editorial Staff Art

from The Magazine ANTIQUES, July/August 2012 | Although the American Folk Art Museum received a great deal of press attention upon the closing of its award-winning building on Fifty-Third Street last year, the really big story was to be found in its immediate resurgence. Beginning with the hugely successful red and white quilt show at the Park Avenue Armory and …

Modern sculptors and American folk art

Editorial Staff Art

“Do not bore. Do not be obvious.” That was the advice given by painter, teacher, and critic Hamilton Easter Field (1873-1922) to his students in the Ogunquit (Maine) School of Paint­ing and Sculpture, which he opened in 1911 with his protégé, the French-born sculptor Robert Laurent.1 For Field, Laurent, and their colleagues who passed through Ogunquit and who shared similar …

In conversation with….Clifford Wallach, tramp art expert

Editorial Staff Art, Books

Clifford Wallach is a widely recognized expert in the field of tramp art—a branch of folk art in which objects are constructed from chip carved wood. As an antiques dealer, scholar, and author of two books on the subject, Tramp Art: One Notch at a Time (1998) and most recently Tramp Art: Another Notch, Folk Art From the Heart (2009), …

Endnotes: Duck call

Editorial Staff Art

This Canada goose clearly lost its bearings, migrating all the way to South America in the twentieth century before returning to the United States this past August. A routine e-mail inquiry to Christie’s in New York resulted in the exciting realization that it was only the fourth decoy of its type to come to light. What makes it so special …

Folk art: Modern design’s secret pleasure

Editorial Staff

August 2009 | The Eames House in Pacific Palisades, California, is one of the icons of mid-twentieth-century modernism. Set in a grove of eucalyptus trees, the building comprises two simple rectilinear volumes—one a living space, the other a working studio—framed in steel with walls formed of a grid of clear glass casement windows peppered with colorful painted wooden panels (Fig.2). …

Editor’s letter, August 2009

Editorial Staff

We have grouped a promiscuous array of things in this issue under the broad umbrella of “folk art”: schoolgirl drawings, trench art, manufactured advertising signs, as well as objects more conventionally agreed upon as “folky,” such as carved walking sticks and weather vanes. While it is common to worry about the vagueness of the term folk art, I am inclined …