In this anniversary year, the Folk Art Museum celebrates with a new exhibition featuring a wonderful collection of American folk portraits. One of the first folk art pieces Mrs. Rockefeller acquired was a charming painting of a child. From there, her collection grew. On view will be images of children with their favorite pet or toy, companion portraits of husband and wife, and paintings of individuals. These early American folk portraits are treasured for their historical significance as well as their aesthetic appeal.
Without folk painters, the faces of many members of the middle and, sometimes, lower classes would not have been recorded. The portraits reveal much about ordinary people: how they lived, what they valued, and how they wished to be remembered. Folk portraits give us glimpses of the countless people who shaped America as vitally and lastingly as her better known movers and shakers. The artists too left something of themselves. They did not achieve their occupation through formal guidance or direction from others but, instead, through inborn talent and intuition. On view will be old favorites from the collections as well as new acquisitions never before exhibited.
Portrait of Mrs. Seth Wilkinson
The Wilkinson Limner, New York state, probably 1827-30
Portrait of the Jennison Family
Jefferson Gauntt, Brooklyn, New York, 1837
Portrait of Daniel Clarke
Jacob Frymire, Franklin County, Pennsylvania, probably 1791
On view in the Clark Gallery
This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Don and Elaine Bogus.