Last Days, closing Aug 17:

Self-Taught Genius
American Folk Art Museum, 2 Lincoln Square, NYC (at 66th St)

At the turn of the twentieth century, the field of American folk art was being defined by collectors, professional artists, critics, dealers, and curators whose search for an authentic American art seemed to be finally answered in works that presented a multivalent picture of national identity, faith, progress, ingenuity, community, and individuality. As the field matured under the umbrella of “folk art,” it was also expanded to include a wider variety of expressions and artists working in the present. For the  last twenty years, the term “self-taught” has more regularly come to address artistic inspiration emerging from unsuspected paths and unconventional places, giving voice to individuals situated outside the social consensus. This exhibition proposes a reframing of the conversation to consider the continuum of American folk art through the concept of “self-taught genius” as an elastic and enduring notion whose meaning has evolved over time.

pictured: Archangel Gabriel Inn Sign & Phrenological Head (Asa Ames)


#TBT to the Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts. In 2011 the American Folk Art Museum dramatically transformed the Wade Thompson Drill Hall with the installation of 650 red and white American quilts, all on loan from the collection of Joanna S. Rose. It was the largest exhibition of quilts ever held in New York City, and was intended to appear as a united collection. The design team centered the exhibition on a ring of chairs with a “tornado” of quilts rising more than 45 feet above them—a representation of quilting circles and their prolific production. The exhibition was captured in the pages of a fully illustrated catalog co-published by the American Folk Art Museum and written by Elizabeth V. Warren, guest curator of this spectacular presentation. (Photos by Gavin Ashworth).


American Folk Art Museum by Todd Williams & Billy Tsien, Day 10 #30days30spaces

This is Day 10 from our #30days30spaces series on New York City spaces in collaboration with designismymuse.  We are doing this series to celebrate the launch of the  Indiegogo Great Spaces Campaign!

About the American Folk Art Museum- 

At first glance, the American Folk Art Museum has a monumental presence. Its stone façade greets the streets of New York, translating both strength and curiosity. (read more & share at

(all images via 

New video on the Whitney Museum of Art from the Great Spaces Series- here.


A Quilted Lament to Loved and Lost MoMA

Amy Wilson’s Soft MoMA is a quilted, free-hanging lament to the loved and lost intimate museum experience the artist enjoyed as a child. Step inside its enveloping folds, where, via two quilted alter egos, Wilson reflects on her discomfort in a shiny new museum world where everyone else seems to be smiling. The quilt made its debut at BravinLee the day after MoMA announced plans to raze the American Folk Art Museum building to create a giant glass lobby. (The show is up through tomorrow.)

See more avant-garde quilts. 


An Independent Order of Odd Fellows Tracing Board, c. 1850–1900 from the Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art exhibition running now through May 8, 2016 at the American Folk Art Museum in New York.

More: As Above, So Below: Art of the American Fraternal Society, 1850-1930

Delve into the whimsical art of fraktur with two unique lectures this Saturday.

Visit “Drawn with Spirit: Pennsylvania German Fraktur from the Joan and Victor Johnson Collection” in the Perelman Building until April 26.

Drawing of flowers, heart, and four birds, c. 1834-35, attributed to Samuel Gottschall    

Bold, bright, and rich with exuberant images and elaborate lettering, fraktur are decorated documents that celebrated milestones and everyday joys in the lives of Pennsylvania Germans. “Drawn with Spirit: Pennsylvania German Fraktur from the Joan and Victor Johnson Collection” presents whimsical, charming, and simply beautiful fraktur. The exhibition opens February 1.

Birth and Baptismal Certificate for Eleina Haack (Born November 28, 1825), c. 1830, attributed to the Northampton County Artist (Promised gift of Joan and Victor Johnson)