Page 1


SUMMER 1989, Vol. 14, No. 3 $4.50

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Early 19th Century Pennsylvania trapunto quilt, pretty and soft. Wanted: Quilts with trapunto work.


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17 East 96th Street, New York, New York 10128.(212) 348-5219 Hours: 2 pm to 6 pm daily plus by appointment


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Sandstone carving by John Pepinfbr use on the exterior of his blacksmith shop. Central Illinois, c. 1900. 1 2"D. 16/ 1 2"H x 36"W x 17/





RICHARD BURNSIDE, King and His Two Wives, 1988, oil on board, 25x31"


RICHARD BURNSIDE, The Ancient King, 1989, oil on plywood, 24x28"




(202) 332-5652



Northwest Coast Tsimshiam Marionette ca. itico, 31 inches high

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Appliqué Railroad quilt. Inscribed E. R.1888. Found in Peru, Indiana. 73/ 1 2inches x 781 / 2inches.

BLANCHE GREENSTEIN THOMAS K. WOODARD 835 Madison Avenue New York, N.Y. 10021 •(212) 988-2906 •

We are always interested in purchasing exceptional quilts Photographs returned promptly.

,,,, THE CLARION _ AMERICA'S FOLK ART MAGAZINE The Museum of American Folk Art New York City

Summer 1989

Volume 14, No. 3


Stacy C. Hollander



Maude Southwell Wahlman,Ph.D.



Arthur and Sybil Kern



Identity Established Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld




9 17 '20















Cover: The St. Tammany weathervane presides over the Atrium of the new Museum of American Folk Art/Eva and Morris Feld Gallery at Lincoln Square. The Gallery, which opened to the public on Apri113, 1989, is located at TWo Lincoln Square, across from New York City's Lincoln Center. The hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily. Photo: Helaine Messer

The Clarion is published four times a year by the Museum of American Folk Art,61 West62nd Sreet, NY,NY 10023,212/977-7170. Telecopier 212/977-8134. Annual subscription rate for members is included in membership dues. Copies are mailed to all members. Single copy $4.50. Published and copyright 1989 by the Museum of American Folk Art,61 West62nd Street, NY,NY 10023. The cover and contents of The Clarion are fully protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those ofthe Museum of American Folk Art. Unsolicited manuscripts or photographs should be accompanied by return postage. The Clarion assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage ofsuch materials. Change of Address: please send both old and new addresses and allow five weeks for change. Advertising: The Clarion accepts advertisements only from advertisers whose reputation is recognized in the trade, but despite the care with which the advertising department screens photographs and texts submitted by its advertisers, it cannot guarantee the unquestionable authenticity of objects or quality of services advertised in its pages or offered for sale by its advertisers, nor can it accept responsiblity for misunderstandings that may arise from the purchase or sale of objects or services advertised in its pages. The Museum is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation of folk art and feels it is a violation of its principles to be involved in or to appear to be involved in the sale of works of art. For this reason, the Museum will not knowingly accept advertisements for The Clarion which illustrate or describe objects that have been exhibited at the Museum within one year ofthe placing of the advertisement. Summer 1989


THE CLARION Didi Barrett, Editor and Publisher Faye H. Eng, Anthony T. Yee, Art Directors Marilyn Brechner, Advertising Manager Willa S. Rosenberg, Assistant Editor Hildegard 0. Vetter, Production Manager Craftsmen Litho,Printers Nassau Typographers, Typesetters

MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FOLK ART Administration Dr. Robert Bishop, Director Gerard C. Wertkin, Assistant Director Cheryl Hoenemeyer, Controller Lillian Grossman,Assistant to the Director Mary Ziegler, Administrative Assistant Jeff Sassoon, Junior Accountant Barry Gallo, Reception Luis Fernandez, Manager, Mailroom and Maintenance Collections & Exhibitions Elizabeth V. Warren, Curator Michael McManus,Director ofExhibitions Ann-Marie Reilly, Registrar Karen S. Schuster,Director ofthe Eva and Morris Feld Gallery Dawn A. Giegerich, Assistant Registrar Stacy C. Hollander, Assistant Curator ofCollections Mary Black, Consulting Curator Deborah de Bauemfeind,Exhibitions Coordinator Lee Kogan,Senior Research Fellow





2661 Cedar Street Berkeley, California 94708 415/845-4949

• We specialize in exceptional 18th-20th Century handmade objects. Our extensive selection of quilts, carved canes, tramp art, folk paintings and sculpture are available for viewing. Phone for exhibit information, hours or appointment.

• II

Departments Didi Barrett, Director ofPublications Beth Bergin, Membership Director Marie S. DiMatmo,Director ofMuseum Shops Susan Flamm,Public Relations Director Alice J. Hoffman,Director ofArt Services Johleen Nester, Director ofDevelopment Edith C. Wise,Director ofLibrary Services Egle Victoria ygas, Curator ofEducation laney Fire, Karla Friedlich,Photographic Services Eileen Jear, Development Assistant Willa S. Rosenberg, Publications Assistant Programs Barbara W. Cate, Director, Folk ArtInstitute Phyllis A. Tepper, Registrar, Folk ArtInstitute Dr. Marilyn Karp, Director, New York University Master's and Ph.D. Program in Folk Art Studies Dr. Judith Reiter Weissman, Coordinator, New York University Program Cathy Rasmussen,Director ofSpecial Projects Irma J. Shore, Director, Access to Art Kennetha R. Stewart, Chair, Friends Committee Mary Linda Zonana, Coordinator, DocentPrograms Museum Shop Staff Dorothy Gargiulo, Caroline Hohenrath, Sally O'Day, Rita Pollitt, Managers Karen Williams Johnson, Mail Order, Laura Aswad, Judy Baker, Sheila Carlisle, Elizabeth Cassidy, Muriel Chusid, Sally Elfant, Annette Ellis, Millie Gladstone, Elli Gordon, Eleanor Katz, Annette Levande, Dorothy Lichtman, Katie McAuliffe, Lexi Martin, Nancy Mayer,Sandra Miller, Theresa Naglack, Pat Pancer, Marie Peluso, Colette Pollitt, Erika Sanders, Phyllis Selnick, Myra Shaskan, Rose Silece, Claire Spiezio, Doris Stack, Karen Taber, Mary Walmsly, Gina Westby, Doris Wolfson. Museum of American Folk Art Book and Gift Shops 62 West 50th Street New York, NY 10112 212/247-5611 'FNo Lincoln Square(Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th) New York, NY 10023 212/496-2966 The Clarion


Survey results reflect an enthusiastic Museum membership Museum of Modern Art. One out of This Spring was a very exciting one for Museum of American Folk Art three Art. Folk the Museum of American is also a member of the members our of gallery a without After two years Metropolitan Museum; 22% are memown, we opened our beautiful new Eva bers of the Museum of Modern Art. and Morris Feld Gallery at Lincoln Seven out of ten members living in the City's York Square, across from New metropolitan area had attended one or pictured Gallery, The Center. Lincoln more Museum of American Folk Art on the cover of this issue of The exhibitions during the twelve months Clarion, has already made its mark as preceding the survey. This was the on destination an important cultural period during which the Museum was Manhattan's dynamic upper West Side. holding exhibitions throughout the To plan for the opening of the new city, making that figure particularly Gallery, the Museum conducted a was impressive. This Fall. last membership survey Out-of-town members said they Memand survey, Museum first the would like to see more traveling exhibibership Director Beth Bergin reports tions, particularly in their own commuthat an extraordinary 30% responded. nities. Most out-of-towners had not rethe half than Furthermore, more been able to visit any of our popular spondents wrote additional comments Museum Book and Gift Shops, but at the end of the form. The Museum a strong interest in a mailexpressed took staff is grateful to everyone who from the shop. The new selection order re. questionnai our to the time to reply Shop Talk page in The Clarion, on page We always welcome input from our 77 in this issue, was introduced to meet members. those requests. Since half the Museum membership The Clarion met with quite positive metroYork New the lives outside response from the surveyed members. politan area, two separate surveys were All of the last four issues had been read sent to current members: One to those by 83% of the respondents and most those to one and in the New York area members saved their back issues. people of majority The . out-of-town A survey question asking readers responding to the survey have been subjects they enjoyed reading what Museum of American Folk Art memThe Clarion brought forth the in about a and years; bers for five or more following results: Folk painting — 74%; whopping 94% expressed a positive folk furniture — 70%; contemporary attitude toward renewing their memfolk art — 57%; home decorating — bership. folk sculpture — 41%, and folk 47%; American of Museum Our typical architecture — 40%. Folk Art member turns out to be a 48A lively debate surfaced in the comyear-old female with a college degree section on The Clarion's active ments graduhold (one third ofthose surveyed of articles on contemporary inclusion full-time a on Employed ate degrees). folk art. The membership was split basis, she lives in a two-person housevirtually in half on the merits of coverhold. Both members of the household contemporary folk art and artists in ing acMuseum in tend to be involved the magazine. tivities. Only one in five Museum This Summer 1989 issue of The members has children living at home; attempts to maintain the kind of Clarion one in ten is retired. will interest as many people as that mix York New the Members who live in At the same time, it is our possible. In goers. museum active are City area goal to educate readers about new areas the past year, 86% had visited the of American folk art about which they Metropolitan Museum,61% had visited may not already be familiar. Included in the Whitney and 59% had been to the

this issue is a fascinating look at the phrenology phenomenon during the mid-nineteenth century by Assistant Curator of Collections Stacy Hollander. This study was instigated by research on a carved phrenological head, attributed to sculptor Asa Ames, in the Museum's collection. Dr. Maude Southwell Wahlman, Associate Professor and Chairperson of the University of Central Florida Art Department, who wrote the article last issue on aesthetic principles in AfricanAmerican quilting, has written a follow-up piece this issue on religious symbolism in African-American quilting. She explores both religious signs and charm traditions. The indefatigable research team of Arthur and Sybil Kern have found what they believe is the true identity of the nineteenth century water-colorist Joseph H. Davis. See if you agree. Finally, in a departure from our normal coverage in The Clarion, we have an article on the trained artist Aminah Robinson by Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld. Robinson, who lives and works in Columbus, Ohio, is currently the Ohio Arts Council's Residency Fellow to P.S. 1 in New York City. Strongly influenced by folklife and folk art, Robinson was the subject this Spring of a one-woman show at the San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum and is included in the exhibition "Stitched Memories: African American Story Quilts': which is currently at the Williams College Art Museum and will tour nationally. Also of note in this issue is a potpourri of photographs from the festivities surrounding the opening of the new Gallery. Look for them in the Director's Letter, Developments column and in Museum News. Have a wonderful summer!

cPA,t,u,cr" 9

Summer 1989


1111-111 IN III III

III 111

"Cat Door" wall relief sculpture, 29 X 17 X 4 inches, by Vermont Artist Stephen Huneck, 1989. Inquires invited.

Leading Specialists in Western Art

Doug Hyde "The vigil" 2"D 1 2"W x 9/ 1 2"H x 32/ 1 35/ Utah alabaster.

Doug Hyde "Hopi Butterflies" 31"H x 56"W x 27"D bronze, edition of three.

Pendleton, Beacon and Esmond camp blankets from 1910-1940.

Important works of art by major Western artists including Russell, Bierstadt, Whittredge, Moran, Remington, Taos Founders and many others, are illustrated in our new eighty-eight page color catalogue "Painters of the American West", now available for ten dollars, postpaid. We are pleased to offer Sculpture by Doug Hyde, as well as of Pueblo Pottery, Navajo Weavings, Folk Art, Tramp Art, selection a good and Beacon Blankets in our Department of Decorative Arts. Our Print Department maintains a strong inventory of early Western Views. For further information, please contact Rudolf G. Wunderlich, President, Mongerson-Wunderlich Galleries, 704 North Wells Street, Chicago, Illinois 60610, or telephone (312) 943-2354.





Candle sconce, late 19th c tin, glass and paint. Museum of International Folk Art.

Honoring 400 Years of Hispanic Tradition in the Southwest The Hispanic Heritage Wing at the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe Inaugural Exhibitions open July 8, 1989

Family and Faith

Tradicion de Orgullo Tradition of Pride



1608 20TH STREET, NW WASHINGTON, DC 20009202-785-4087 12

Focus on Alabama Folk Art We feature fine works by: Mose T., Jimmie Lee Sudduth, Lonnie Holley, Charlie & Annie Lucas, the late Juanita Rogers, and Rev. B.F. Perkins Gallery inquiries welcome Photographs of art available


Charlie Lucas"Shade Tree Mechanic", Acrylic & Oil on Wood,32" x 36", 1988


Pieced and appliqued. Pennsylvania c. 1935 KATE AND JOEL KOPP


Baltimore Album Quilt, signed "Hannah Foote Baltimore 1850" Both ofthese quilts have been sold prior to publication.

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Reverend Howard Finster David Butler Clementine Hunter Mattie Lou O'Kelley Mary T. Smith Jimmy Suduth Mose Tolliver Rita Hicks Davis Agnes Bischof Dudli (Swiss) George W. Smethurst (England) Juanita Rogers Henry Speller Jas. "Son" Thomas Willie White Marvin Finn Jr. Lewis Thomas May Erma Lewis, Jr. William Miller Calvin & Ronald Cooper

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Folk Art


Fine Art

Sailor's Valentine Gallery Outsider Art Exhibition August 4-10 Produced in Cooperation with Gilley's Gallery of Baton Rouge, LA.

38 & 40 Centre St. Nantucket, MA 02554 (508) 228-2011

Rare wool album quilt, c. 1860, with raised, hooked and sheared embroidery. 15

"THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF WILLIAM F. WINTER,JR.(1899-1939)" is available. 189 pages,86 full-page illustrations,(toned photographs printed in full color to capture the subtle shades of the originals), biographical introduction, fully indexed. Includes Shaker,Industrial, Studies of Nature and Interior Photographs. $35.00 plus $4.50 postage and handling(NY residents add 81 / 4% tax.)


DAVID A. SCHORSCII ,17tco//tmca.&ci 30 EAST 76TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10021 212-439-6100



The Museum of American Folk Art looks toward a busy summer. After a period of several years of operating without a permanent exhibition space in New York City, the Museum of American Folk Art inaugurated the Eva and Morris Feld Gallery at Lincoln Square on April 12, 1989. Located at Two Lincoln Square(Columbus Avenue and 66th Street), the new Gallery is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to9 p.m. As I consider the past few years, I can recall the concerns expressed about operating the Museum without galleries of its own. When our lease covering the carriage house at 125 West 55th Street was canceled by St. Thomas Church on June 30, 1986 as a consequence of real estate development, nearly all our Trustees and professional staff were immensely concerned. As it turned out, the three years of operating as a museum without walls was one of the most productive periods in the history of the institution. We were forced to be even more inventive than usual, striking out in new directions and, as most of you know, receiving widespread acclaim and recognition for our innovative programming. Our exhibitions were presented in many locations in New York City, including the IBM Gallery of Science and Art, the PaineWebber Art Gallery, the City Gallery, and other sites. National and international tours and educational programs reached as many as 100 venues throughout the world, bringing folk art to new audiences that would never have been exposed to this important expression of our American heritage or to the Museum of American Folk Art. Additionally, our Master of Arts and Ph.D. programs, administered by New York University, continued to grow; and the Folk Art Institute, a fully accredited certificate program, was developed under the Museum's roof. The future has never looked better. Our expanded, new office facility at 61 West 62nd Street is providing adequate Summer 1989

"We are a Museum!"Above, Honorary Trustee Eva Feld cuts opening ribbon as MayorEdwardI. Koch; Kitty Carlisle Hart, Chairman, New York State Council on the Arts; Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, Commissioner ofDepartment ofCultural Affairs, City of New York; and Museum Director Dr. Robert Bishop cheer. Left, Elise Brown, Ben & Jerry's Homemade Director of Public Relations with Jerry Greenfield. Below left, Dr. Robert Bishop and Ralph Esmerian, President of Museum Board of Trustees. Below, City Planning Commission's Jonathan Lindsay and Alexandra Trower. Bottom, Museum Trustee George F. Shaskan, Jr. and Myra Shaslcan.



space for the staff to work and develop significant, new programming. The library is a dream. Little did we know those seven years ago when we decided to make a major commitment to the development of a library that so many people would care so much and be so generous. And, in the area of public programDonors and Friends: Above right, Kathleen Nester and John Nester IL Below right, Mr. and Mrs. Joel 1. Banker. Below left, Sylvia Deutsch Chairperson of the City Planning Commission and Leon Deutsch.

ming, we look at an exceedingly bright future, as well. Immediate plans are underway for the development of an American/Japanese Folk Art and Crafts Festival, produced in association with Asahi Shimbun and the PaineWebber Art Gallery. Our Great American Quilt Festival 3, centered around the theme "Discover America;' is already being developed for 1991. A full, varied, and important schedule of exhibitions, for presentation in New York and elsewhere,is now in place; and new ground will be broken in educational programming and publications, as well. I want to personally thank you for your support and for your caring. In paying tribute to the Museum's Trustees, staff, and supporters, I want especially to express gratitude to the members of the Museum. Through your steadfastness, the Museum continues to grow and to serve an everexpanding community. Each of you in joining your hands with ours has helped to preserve an important manifestation of our national experience — American folk art in all its wonderful forms.

Samuel J. Landau 19084989 The Museum records with sadness the death on May 20,1989 of Samuel J.("Adam")Landau. Museum members and friends came to know and respect Adam as one of the general partners of Two Lincoln Square Associates, owners and developers of the building in which the Museum's Eva and Morris Feld Gallery is located. Adam played a critically important role in the planning and construction of this wonderful exhibition facility. Without his personal commitment and generosity the Museum would not have been able to establish a major center for the presentation of folk art exhibitions and Samuel J. Landau and Nicole Silberkleit programming in New York's Lincoln honoring patrons of the Eva and Morris at the reception Feld Gallery at Center area. Lincoln Square, Apri111, 1989.


With his partner Joel I. Banker, Samuel J. Landau is honored with a brass plaque at the entrance of the new Museum of American Folk Art/ Eva and Morris Feld Gallery at Lincoln Square. He received the accolades ofthe Museum family during the series of opening events that took place April 11 to 13, 1989. The developer of several New York residential and commercial buildings, he was an able businessman, skillful negotiator and congenial friend. He will be missed by all of us. The Museum's Board of Trustees and professional staff extend their condolences to Adam's son, Robert A. Landau, and to his friend, Nicole Silberkleit.

The Clarion





The only gallery in New York featuring rare decoys, and some "not so rare."

William Bender 49 Grove Street New York, N.Y. 10014 (212) 924-4467

Rare white wing scoter by Civil War Medal of Honor winner Albert Terry, circa 1850-70. In 1970, twenty-three of his decoys were found under his home in Riverhead, Long Island. The initials "A.T." are carved in the bottom. •••=1.

All major credit cards accepted. —

Summer 1989



The Essential Gourd at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art celebrates the creativity of gourd decoration. Seventy-five gourds, decorated by Nigerian artists, show the utility and beauty of the versatile fruit. They are "lightweight, durable and airtight:'say exhibition organizers, as well as suitable for "covering and carrying perishables" — sort of like nature's Thpperware. Through January 4, 1990. Smithsonian Institution, Museum of African Art, Washington, DC, tel. 202/ 357-2627... The Vermont State Craft Center at Frog Hollow, Middlebury, VT, features new works by Stephen Huneck, the Vermont artist. Huneck's carved and cast metal dogs, angels and people are in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian, as well as the Dog Museum of America and the American Kennel Club. August 1-27. Vermont State Craft Center, Middlebury, VT, tel. 802/388-3177... The Museum of New Mexico presents a Summer Indian Arts Festival featuring Native American crafts, music, dance, and food, July 22 and 23; and a Contemporary Spanish Market highlighting contemporary Spanish arts and crafts, July 29 and 30. Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM, tel. 505/827-6460... Mississippi Homespun: Nineteenth Century Textiles and the Women Who Made Them examines the history of period textiles and clothing production through the diaries and artifacts of eleven Mississippi women. Through September 3. Mis20

sissippi State Historical Museum, Jackson, MS, tel. 601/354-6222... The Museum of Our National Heritage recreates school and office interiors and street scenes from the late 1800s for its current exhibition Turn of the Century, through February 25, 1990. Beginning July 24, the Museum displays an eclectic selection of Rustic Furniture, including Amish, Appalachian and Adirondack pieces as well as period photographs and advertisements. Through Febru-


Sailor's Whisk Broom, late 19th or early 20th century. From Maritime Art and Artisans at the San Francisco Croft and Folk Art Museum.

ary 1990. The Museum of Our National Heritage, Lexington, MA,tel. 617/861-6559... The scrimshaw, tools, decorations, fancywork, furniture,

io41sie Pait4ye 144uselos

Helping to inaugurate the upcoming quincentennial of the landing of Christopher Columbus in the New World, the Museum of International Folk Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will open its Hispanic Heritage Wing on July 8. His Royal Highness Don Felipe de Borbon, Crown Prince of Spain, will serve as chairman of the Honorary Board of the Wing,

A 19th Century Nuestra Senora de los Doloresfrom C.D. Carroll Collection. Museum ofInternational Folk Art

models and paintings of late 19th and early 20th century fishermen are the focus of the San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum's exhibit Maritime Art and Artisans. Through August 27. San Francisco Craft and Folk Art Museum, Landmark Building A, Fort Mason, San Francisco, CA, tel. 425/775-0990... The Metropolitan Museum of Art's tribute to the apron, Apropos Aprons,features 60 decorative aprons from the 1600s to the present. The display includes European folk aprons and aprons from Africa and Asia. Through September 3. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 82nd Street and 5th Avenue, New York, NY, tel. 212/ 879-5500...

and the festive opening will feature musical performances and folk art demonstrations. The Currier Gallery of Art in The new wing, housing objects Manchester, NH, kicks off its from the Museum's permanent 60th anniversary celebration collection of Hispanic folk art, with By Good Hands: New celebrates the rich Hispanic his- Hampshire Folk Art, a collectory of New Mexico beginning tion of 18th, 19th, and 20th 400 years ago with Coronado's century folk art from the Granentrance from Mexico in his ite State. The collection features wild search for the mythical portraits, carved figures, family "Seven Cities of Gold:' The records, tavern signs and deopening inaugural exhibit is Fa- coys. Through September 3. milia y Fe(Family and Faith), a Currier Gallery of Art, 192 Orcelebration of domestic and re- ange Street, Manchester, NH, ligious life. Highlights include a tel. 603/669-6144... reconstructed courtyard from a New Mexico sanctuary and a The recent renovation at the replica of an 1860s Hispanic Philadelphia Museum of Art has home. The Museum's contem- resulted in an impressive showporary gallery features the ex- case for the Museum's outstandhibit Tradicion de Orgullo ing collection of early Ameri(Tradition of Pride), works of can silver, copper, brass,iron, tin, weaving, silver, straw appli- pewter and tin. Selections quĂŠ, carvings and other crafts from the Museum's furniture by twenty living artists. Open- collection are featured in coloring July 8. The Hispanic ful period contexts. PhiladelHeritage Wing at the Museum phia Museum of Art, Parkway of International Folk Art, Santa at 26th Street, Philadelphia, PA, Fe, NM,tel. 505/827-6460. tel. 215/763-8100.

The Clarion


Caribbean Festival Arts is the Smithsonian Institution's imposing multi-media celebration of the Festival tradition in the Caribbean. Occupying the Smithsonian's International Gallery and spilling out into adjacent hallways and concourses, the massive exhibit

Carnival masquerader

focuses on the costumes, music, dance, murals, artifacts and foods of the Caribbean festival. The exhibition centers on three festivals in particular: Jonkonnu, a Jamaican street masquerade; Carnival, a preLenten celebration in Trinidad; and Hosay, an Islamic festival celebrated in the islands of the Caribbean. Caribbean Festival Arts recreates the streets of a Caribbean festival. "Family Days" (July 8, August 5 and September 2) feature craft demonstrations, reggae, steel band music and a wide assortment of Caribbean foods and coffees. Through February 1990. Smithsonian Institution, S. Dillon Ripley Center, Washington, DC,tel. 202/357-4700.


WifillfMr. The New England Quilt Museum presents two exhibitions: Through Attic Windows, Parts I and II, a collection of quilts from New England historical societies, July 12 to September 17; and Who'd a Thought It!, Afro-American quilts from San Francisco, August 14 to September 17. New England Quilt Museum, 256 Market Street, Lowell, MA,tel. 508/452-4207...

Amish Quilts from Northern Indiana features full-sized, doll and crib quilts from LaGrange County, IN, the area with the second highest concentration of Amish in the United States. This is the first comprehensive exhibition ofthe quilts of Northern Indiana in their area of origin. September 1 to October 8. Midwest Museum of American Art, 429 S. Main Street, Elkhart, IN, tel. 219/293-6660...

Quilts at the Heritage Museum features 125 antique quilts from the collection of Margaret Cavigga, Hollywood's quiltdealer to the stars. Through July 16. Santa Monica Heritage Museum, 2616 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA, tel. 213/ 392-8537...

The Kansas City Star announces its First International Quilt Block Contest. Contestants use Kansas City Star Quilt Book designs from 1928 through 1961. For more information contact Groves Publishing Company, Attn: Dorothymae, Box 5370, Kansas City, MO,64131. tel. 800/373-1528.

Summer 1989


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MERMAIDS: SIRENS OF THE SEA June 8 - September 9, 1989 131 SPRING STREET • NEW YORK. NEW YORK 10012 •(212) 431-0144

$tasisso $k4Iteo, Euegto Three northeastern Shaker Museums present a variety of exhibitions and activities dealing with Shaker life and arts this Summer. The Shaker Museum in Old Chatham, New York, celebrates its 40th anniversary this year with an exhibition of Shaker furniture from its permanent collection. The Museum houses the premier collection of Shaker historical artifacts. tel. 518/794-9100 ... The Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, has a full schedule for the Summer/Fall season. In addition to its ongoing demonstrations of 19th-century Shaker crafts and cooking, the Village will feature two new exhibits: "Designed to Hold: Shaker Baskets, Buckets and Boxes," and "Shaker Images' paintings and prints of Shaker life. Throughout the season, the Village will hold Shaker Dinner and Candlelight Tours, children's tours, and craft workshops. Other special events include the 26th annual Kitchen Festival, July 22-23; Herb Festival, August 3; Antiquarian Book Fair, August 12; and the Antiques Show, October 7-9. Guided tours of the Village are available daily and there is a stocked Museum Shop and lunch shop featuring traditional Shaker foods. tel. 413/4430188. . . . In Enfield, New Hampshire, the Lower Shaker Village Museum offers an enormous schedule of activities through October. Included are Shaker Revels, outdoor performances of traditional song, literature and dance; Antique Show and Sale, August 20; OldTime Shaker Harvest Festival, October 7; outdoor dinner and picnics; Shaker teas; film and concert series; and workshops in everything from herb garden-

ing to chair taping and tinsmithing. The Museum also features a monthly Sunday lecture series. Most events require reservations. The Museum at Lower Shaker Village, Enfield, NH,tel. 603/632-5533.

Basket weaving at the Hancock Shaker Village.

auaies Monochromatic Drawings (also known as sandpaper drawings) are the subject of research and a proposed exhibition by the Museum of American Folk Art. Information on the whereabouts of any of these drawings and their artists would be greatly appreciated. Please send information to: Doris Stack, 812 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10021. • I am currently researching the life and work of L.K. Rowe, a 19th century portrait painter who worked in and around Salem, MA, 1857-1860. He signed one of his portraits on the lower, left-hand side of the frame. I would appreciate hearing from anyone who has any information on him and knows of any portraits that he painted. Please send information to: Howard Fertig, 24 Berkeley Place, Livingston, New Jersey 07039. The Clarion


ntiquQs Weekend 600 EXHIBITORS — many under tenting

September 2-3 Sat. 10am-6pm Sun. 9am-4pm Free parking Admission: $3.00

A national antiques event with leading dealers offering folk art, china, quilts, baskets, glass, clocks, dolls, primitives, advertising, jewelry, silver, Americana, vintage clothing, paintings, Orientalia, lighting, tools, toys, a great variety of reasonably priced country and formal furniture, and 1000's offine collectibles. Early admission Saturday 7:00 am-$10.00

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110.11. Spofford, New Hampshire



NORTH CAROLINA QUILTS Eileen Fickling Eanes, et. al. Edited by Ruth Haislip Roberson 214 pages, illustrated Published by The University of North Carolina Press, Chapel Hill and London $29.95 hardcover; $17.50 softcover This book documenting North Carolina quilts made prior to 1975 is the result of the work of many passionate quilt enthusiasts. The Project Director, Ruth Haislip Roberson, states in her preface that she became involved because of a series of personal experiences which piqued her curiosity and interest in quiltmaking history. She, and others like her, coordinated their efforts and developed the North Carolina Quilt Project, co-sponsored by the North Carolina Quilt Symposium, Inc., and the North Carolina Museum of History. The central goal of the Project was to develop a permanent record of quiltmaking in the state, and the book serves to publish the data collected. While it was not intended as an exhibition catalogue, an exhibition based on the material was mounted at the North Carolina Museum of History at the time of publication. In 75 quilt days conducted throughout North Carolina, more than 10,000 quilts were seen, photographed and documented. The book is the product of several authors, all with quiltmaking experience and representing several academic disciplines. It is divided into seven chapters, the first being a concise, well-written history of the North Carolina settlement and the economic and social patterns evolving from that settlement. Quiltmaking traditions within the state were determined by the availability of cloth. Using the textile industry as the vehicle, the text traces the availability of cloth, while exploring the social, cultural, political and economic history of the state, as well as the status of women. The first North Carolina settlers were English coming south from Virginia circa 1610 in search of good land. The original colony, and later the state, imported its cloth goods. There was no domestic textile industry until the Napoleonic Wars, in the early part of the nineteenth century, created a shortage of imported cloth. Imported cloth was depended upon and favored even in the 24

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"New York Beauty" quilt from North Carolina Quilts.

remote mountain regions of the state. No figured fabrics were made until the end of the nineteenth century with the exception of Alamance County plaids, a distinctive yarn-dyed cloth. Technology was very limited and it was only in times of great social upheaval, such as wars, that any progress was made towards developing a home textile industry. The Revolutionary War, followed closely by the invention of the cotton gin, aided in the growth of the cotton culture in most of the South. However, in North Carolina, the planter class continued to focus exclusively on agriculture. The Civil War encouraged the development of the manufacture of cloth, both cotton and woolen, since there was a blockade of southern ports. But this, too, did not stimulate the growth of a native industry; the extensive destruction during the war made it difficult to raise the capital necessary to stimulate the growth ofa textile industry. It was not until the 1880s, when Northern capital began to flow into the state, that the quality of the cloth produced began to be upgraded. The chapters that follow deal with specific types of quilts made by the women of the state. The earliest quilts were made mainly by women of affluence who had access to imported goods and were more likely to be educated and knowledgeable about fabrics, patterns and design. Investigation of wills and inventories revealed evidence of quilts being made between 1815

and 1850 which were fashioned from appliquĂŠd cutout motifs of imported chintz and fine cottons. They are distinctive from quilts found in England and Wales in their simplicity. Surprisingly, these chintz medallion quilts were not found in the eastern regions originally settled by the English but in the Piedmont, the central region of the state settled by German and Scotch-Irish middle class merchants and farmers moving down from Pennsylvania through the Shenandoah Valley. Possibly, this is due to the many upheavals which forced families to flee to interior regions. These earliest quilts were decorative rather than utilitarian, an interesting fact, given the poor conditions of the state throughout the nineteenth century. Nearly ninety per cent of the quilts documented were pieced quilts, and preliminary conclusions hold that pieced quilts were influenced by settlement patterns, geography, economic development, ethnicity, and transportation systems. The authors believe that this general understanding will be buttressed by further detailed studies of regions, communities, and families and that if the real heritage of the state is to be understood this is the direction the research should take. Another chapter focuses on friendship, album and fundraising quilts. These quilts lend themselves to genealogical study, and offer the opportunity to learn about life in simpler times. These early quiltmakers would be amazed at how important the fundraising quilt remains in the lives of twentieth century people. The craze for crazy quilts swept the nation during the last two decades of the nineteenth century. North Carolina women were no exception to the many who indulged in this passion to create ornate, random and complicated needlework. The author of this chapter, along with other quilt historians, believes that this was one form of rebellion that was socially acceptable for women of this time. The final chapter of the book, entitled "Quilted Treasures': is a reprise of the premise that "quilts are cultural documents from which we can learn about the past' Quiltmaking in North Carolina really takes off at the end ofthe Civil War as more fabric becomes accessible. By the late nineteenth century, quilts are being made from dressThe Clarion

• 04


NYC's largest, most diverse collection of antique quilts —bold Amish geometrics, early florals & chintzes, log cabins, paste11930's,crazy quilts & more,in doll to king size,from the 19th through early 20th centuries. Vintage bed and floor coverings too—Marseilles spreads, linens, Beacon and Pendleton blankets, jacquard coverlets, hooked and rag rugs. And, antique paisley shawls, Amish buggy plaids, Victorian silk embroidered wraps. Plus, eye catching American folk art and decorative accessories. The Macy Family Sampler Quilt, Maine, signed by aunts, uncles, grandmas, grandpas, papa and mama,dated 1905.

1050 Second Avenue, Gallery 57, New York, NY 10022 (212)838-2596 or by appointment (212) 866-6033 Monday-Saturday 11:30-5:30

Clockwise from top David Butler and John Geldersma "Three-headed Winged Snake-

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-Star Cross" Mose Tolliver "Gourd" James Harold Jennings "James' WorldMary T. Smith "Two Red-headed Figures on Blue-

Summer 1989

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maker scraps, construction becomes more economical, needlework becomes more functional than decorative, and in the twentieth century, we begin to find women using "found" materials from which to construct their quilts. This parallels the pattern offolk painters and sculptors of the twentieth century who also work with "found" objects. Each chapter has excellent photographed illustrations. There are 143 color photographs of full-sized quilts and/or details. Often there are accompanying photographs of the makers. The commentary in the captions is pertinent and in many instances acts as a footnote to the text. The stories of the quilts and their makers give the reader good insight into the lives of the women making the quilts and the conditions under which they were made. The Project Director acknowledges that some segments of the population are not fully represented, but maintains the hope that further research will concentrate on those special groups — Native Americans, African-Americans and poor, elderly and handicapped quilters. The book has a generous bibliography, extensive notes, an index, brief biographies of the authors, and an impressive honor roll of people contributing funds to the Project. It deserves a place on the bookshelves of folk art enthusiasts, women's history students, local history buffs, quiltmakers and quilt collectors. — Phyllis A. Tepper Phyllis A. Tepper is Registrar of the Folk Art Institute of the Museum of American Folk Art and Director of the New York Quilt Project. She is also a Fellow of the Museum of American Folk Art. SANTOS,STATUES,& SCULPTURE: CONTEMPORARY WOODCARVING FROM NEW MEXICO By Laurie Beth Kalb 24 pages, illustrated Published by the Craft and Folk Art Museum, Los Angeles, CA,1988 $7.50 softcover The New Mexican Hispanic traditions of carving and painting religious figures have received much scholarly attention since the pioneering scholar E. Boyd published Saints & Saintmakers of New Mexico in 1946. For the most part, however, studies 26

have avoided serious discussion of contemporary trends within the tradition. Most writers, with the exception of Charles Briggs, have proclaimed Jose Benito Ortega (1858-1941)as the last ofthe religious image makers in the region which was once the Northern frontier of Spanish colonial America. In his 1980 book, The Wood Carvers of Cordova, New Mexico: Social Dimensions ofan Artistic "Revive,' Briggs credits Jose Delores Lopez (1868-1937) with establishing a new direction for this carving tradition, which is carried on by various members of the Lopez family. Briggs expresses confidence in the future of the art by citing the "tremendous increase in the number of image carvers" in recent decades. These contemporary carvers, working outside the Lopez family tradition, are the focus of Laurie Beth Kalb's catalogue for the exhibition "Santos, Statues, & Sculpture" While one must give credit to Kalb for her wish to remain ethnographically responsible to the carvers own terms for their art, her division of the essay into sections titled "Santos and Sculpture" "Santos and Statues" and "Santos, Statues, and Sculpture" confuses the reader. This division stems from "the different contexts in which these traditional objects are made and used"and is "based on the particular descriptions various woodcarvers have given their work" Kalb makes an important point by using this nomenclature — santos, statues and sculpture — to illustrate the varied interpretations of these objects by participants and observers. Formal divisions are not clear in the catalogue, but neither are they clear in the minds of the artists themselves. Unfortunately, there are few examples in the text of the use of these terms by the craftsmen themselves. Thus, while the reader is exposed to ethnographic issues inherent in the subject, the study's historical content and linear progression are muddled. This makes it difficult to follow the development, influences, and religious inspiration of individual artists. Another issue raised in the text is the conflict between purity of religious devotion and reality of artistic commerce. For many of these artists, creativity arises directly from their Hispanic Catholic heritage; for others it developed from a hobby into a

lucrative source of income; for most, it is a fascinating combination of both. George Lopez's explanation is very simple: The figures he sells are merely blocks of wood devoid of spiritual content. They can only be called "santos" or "holy" if they have been blessed by a priest. Consecrated as "holy" the carvings would not be sold. Eulogia and Zoraida Ortega built a small chapel for their own use, decorated it with images, and had it blessed by a priest. This couple also sells religious images at art markets and fairs throughout New Mexico, allowing spirituality to be determined by the user. Given the brevity of the catalogue, it may have been more effective to concentrate on two artists rather than attempt to write an overview of the movement. Luis Tapia and Enrique Rendon feature prominently in Kalb's essay and would stand alone as perfect case studies for her discussion of cultural influences. Much of the information was gathered through extensive fieldwork with the artists, and their individualities shine in this book. Unfortunately, there is little biographical information from which the reader can develop a full understanding of the lives of these artists and the rich communal traditions evident in Northern New Mexico. While the photographs are sensitive to both artists and objects, the size of the publication eliminates illustrations of many of the objects important to discussions in the text. In addition, the catalogue checklist, organized using different divisions from those used in the text, is difficult to comprehend. This catalogue opens the doors to serious study of contemporary Hispanic saintmakers and proposes the continued richness of this persistent tradition. Currently writing her dissertation on contemporary carvers, Kalb's further exploration of issues only touched on in this study should produce a thorough and thoughtful appraisal of this increasingly popular art form. — Andrew Connors Andrew Connors is Collections Manager for Paintings and Sculpture at the National Museum of American Art. He is currently working on an exhibition of the Hemphill Collection for that museum. The Clarion



The Romance of Double Wedding Ring Quills ROBERT BISHOP

Memories of Childhood Award-Winning Quilts Created for the Great American Quilt Festival II

The award-winning crib quilts featured in this splendid book were created for The Great American Quilt Festival 2. Each is a small, precious fabric painting that makes a personal statement about childhood and underscores the universal appeal of the craft.

A beautiful book on Double Wedding Ring quilts and their history, by a leading authority in the field of American quiltmaking, demonstrates the infinite variety that can be achieved in this popular, romantic quilt pattern.

MEMORIES OF CHILDHOOD by Museum of American Folk Art $29.95, cloth; $15.95, paper 64 color plates

THE ROMANCE OF DOUBLE WEDDING RING QUILTS by Robert Bishop $29.95, cloth; $18.95, paper 60 color plates, 40 line drawings Patterns and instructions for six quilts

Summer 1989





NEW YORK, N.Y. 10016

NEW YORK, N.Y. 10016



Phrenological Head: Attributed to Asa Ames; Circa 1850; Polychromed Eastern white pine; 163/8 x 13 x Ns". Courtesy ofMuseum ofAmerican Folk Art, New York;Bequest ofMrs. Arthur Virgin.

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Washington,5 April, 1839 Cicero says, that he wonders how two Roman augurs could ever look each other in the face without laughing, I have felt something of the same surprise, that two learned phrenologists can meet without the like temptation... John Quincy Adams' In 1981, the Museum of American Folk Art received a rather unusual bequest: The wonderful carved wooden bust of a somber young girl with a phrenological map depicted on her skull was gladly accepted into the collection, but no purpose or reason behind the carving was immediately apparent. A phrenological connection has finally been discovered that provides at least a link between the probable sculptor of the bust, Asa Ames,and the nineteenth century movement known as phrenology. Phrenology may have inspired only caustic sarcasm in some, like John Quincy Adams, but in countless other Americans it inspired a nearly religious conviction. At its height, the influence of phrenology in America extended from an elite intelligentsia to a nearly illiterate rural population. This influence was manifested in many ways, but the phrenological bust attributed to Asa Ames remains one of the most intriguing and beautiful testimonies to this movement in American history. To understand the climate that produced this expression of faith, one must examine popular phrenology and its penetra28

The Clarion


Craniometer usedfor measuring the area ofdevelopment ofthe phrenological "organs': Courtesy ofYale Medical Historical Library, New Haven, Connecticut.


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tion into the grassroots of American life. Phrenology was conceived by a Viennese medical student, Franz Joseph Gall, who observed that fellow students with excellent memories had prominent eyes. Based upon this perception and corroborating studies, Gall devised an entire physiological and psychological system with the premise that behavior, intellect and talent were determined and controlled by specific areas of the brain.' Gall offered his first series of lectures in Vienna in 1796 and by 1804 had joined forces with his favorite student, Dr. Joharme Spurzheim. Gall's investigation of phrenology was purely scientific, one of the first attempts to correlate the organ of the brain with behavioral activity and aptitudes. He devised new methods of dissection and focused the attention of the medical world on cerebral structure. Gall divided the brain into thirtyseven sections called "faculties',' each controlling an area of behavior or psychological orientation.' This materialistic view of an organ generally held to be the seat of the soul startled many and caused phrenology to be considered morally subversive.' Lectures were banned in Austria, but resumed in other European countries. Gall's original premise was expanded by Spurzheim who coined the name "phrenology" to mean science of the mind and injected the evangelical idea that all men are basically good, evil stemming from physical disease and faulty development of particular faculties.' In 1832, Spurzheim launched an ambitious American tour. Landing in New York during a cholera epidemic, he quickly departed for Yale to speak at the commencement exercises. After an exhausting six week schedule, Spurzheim became feverish and suddenly died,causing as great a stir by his death as he had by his lectures. His public autopsy at Harvard was preceded by a lecture on his teachings given by Dr. John C. Warren while James Audobon and other artists made sketches 29

of the departed. Thereafter, Spurzheim's brain was kept as a memento by Dr. William Grigg in his office at the Atheneum.' Spurzheim explored the psychological implications of phrenology and developed the theory, rejected by Gall, that the size of the contours of the skull conformed to the size of the respective areas of the brain, determining the development of the faculty contained within that area. These speculations unlocked the door that was soon thrown wide open by the Fowler brothers, bringing an awareness of phrenology to every home, however remote, in nineteenth century America. Orson Squire Fowler and Lorenzo Niles Fowler are credited with creating a practical and peculiarly American application of phrenology. The brothers practised what was considered a vulgarized form called cranioscopy which involved elaborate measurements of different sections of the skull. The size of the particular section was compared to a chart of their own devising; should an area be deficient, certain behavioral modifications were suggested to develop the faculty. If overdeveloped,the restraint of specific activities would render the faculty less prominent. By analysing the contours, the Fowlers promised an accurate reading of one's character. This opened a Pandora's box of possibilities from choosing a wife by the shape of her skull to Horace Greeley's suggestion in his Tribune that trainmen be selected by the shape of their heads in order to avoid accidents.' An endless series of self-help books ensued designed to insure marital harmony, business success, and the fulfillment of personal potential. The Fowlers established themselves in lower Manhattan and opened their "Phrenological Cabinet" to visitors. This Cabinet contained thousands of casts, skulls, skeletons, artifacts and paintings, including cranial reproductions of famous people which were 30

The Illustrated Phrenological Almanac for 1851, one ofthe many periodicals published by Fowler & Wells. Courtesy ofThe New-York Historical Society, New York.



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compared to the skulls of animals and "savages:' Visitors could receive a reading of their own contours for a small fixed fee which included a free chart. The chart was soon expanded to sixty pages because individual notations of the various faculties were so extensive. Most public figures were examined, with or without their actual presence or consent, aided by,"... a good daguerreotype, the 3/4 pose preferred:" Mark Twain reported of his analysis,"... he found a cavity on one place; a cavity where a bump would have been in anybody else's skull... He startled me by saying that the cavity represented a total absence of the sense of humor... After three months I went to him again, but under my own name this time. Once more he made a striking discovery — the cavity was gone,and in its place was a Mount Everest — figuratively speaking — 31,000 feet high, the loftiest bump of humor he had ever encountered in his lifelong experience!"9 The practical phrenology of the Fowlers was very attractive to the social reformers of the period. Horace Mann was a firm believer, as was Amelia Bloomer. The phrenologists themselves agitated strongly for much needed reforms in the penal and educational systems and were among the first to view insanity as a treatable medical and psychological condition rather than a visitation by evil spirits!' They advocated temperance and "health food:' and lectured against tight corsets, coffee and teas. The Fowlers also published extensively, allowing their authors to champion mesmerism, hydropathy, magnetism and spiritualism. Through their publications a broad spectrum of seemingly radical thought was able to filter into the backwaters of the American consciousness. These allied movements were particularly interesting to nineteenth century itinerant artists who were often called upon to paint posthumous portraits. Summer 1989

Inkwell, Phrenological Head;Maker unknown; Circa 1850-1859; Graniteware with black, gold 1 2" h. Courtesy of and cobalt blue decoration; 5/ the Bennington Museum, Bennington, Vermont.

This was accomplished by working from the corpse, family descriptions, other paintings, and later, photography. William Matthew Prior was able to parlay his beliefs into painting commissions and, "he painted portraits of children who had died in infancy, declaring that they had come from the spirit world. The practice of phrenology was another avocation:" Joseph Whiting Stock also accepted commissions for posthumous paintings. His will indicates that he was involved with hydropathy and phrenology and that he owned several Fowler publications and a plaster head, as well as a copy of Stanley Grimes' Mesmerism.' The Fowlers, themselves, felt that the insight offered through phrenology was indispensible to the artist and wrote,

"soon every artist must be a phrenologist!"3 Although the Fowlers lectured widely, they were not the only practising phrenologists. The countryside was dotted with demonstrations of phrenology by self-professed operators. A favorite tactic used and sanctioned by the Fowlers wasfor the examiner to take a stranger from the audience and, blindfolded, to read his character. These dramatics convinced ever-growing segments of the rural populations that phrenology could map their talents and weaknesses, direct them in career choices, and assure their success. Phrenology had become part of the vernacular. According to the Boston Christian Examiner of 1834,"Heads of chalk, inscribed with mystic numbers, disfigured every mantlepiece:' These heads were imported from England, as they still are today, or were manufactured locally by concerns such as the Bennington potteries. The Fowlers began a secondary business of supplying the tools of phrenology: plaster casts, measuring devices and charts. Handcarved phrenological heads were uncommon,but not unknown. The highly decorative phrenological bust in the collection of the Museum of American Folk Art, however, is especially appealing because of its portrait-like format and colorful execution. The bust is attributed to Asa Ames,a little known sculptor from upstate New York. The artist is first mentioned in the catalogue American Folk Sculpture: The Work ofEighteenth and Nineteenth Century Craftsmen, published in conjunction with a 1931 exhibition at the Newark Museum. In that catalogue, the "Bust of a Girl:' signed "A.Ames:' was incorrectly attributed to Alexander Ames, a shipcarver working in the Buffalo area. In 1977, Jack T. Ericson identified "A.Ames" as Asa Ames from the 1850 Federal Census for the town of Evans, Erie County, New York, twenty miles north of Buffalo!' Asa 31

Bust of a Young Man;Attributed to Asa Ames; Circa 1848-50;Polychromed yellow poplar; 15" h x 878" w. The circular cutout on the chest is 2/ 1 2" in diameter and might have held a memorial plaque or medal. Courtesy of Huntington Museum ofArt, Huntington, West Virginia.

Photo:American Folk Art in Wood. Metal and Stone;Dover Publicatio

New York, 1948.

Bust of a Girl; Aitributed to Asa Ames; 1847; Polychromed wood; 14/ 1 2" h. This carving is said to be signed by Asa Ames and dated 1847.

Ames worked in a distinctive style which derived from the shipcarving tradition. His sculpted portraits, mostly of children, are both frontal and direct. The children all have broad foreheads and uncompromising eyes which Ames characteristically carved deeply under 32

heavy brows, the eyelashes painted as a series of dots. The ears are well modelled and the hair is carved in a precise linear pattern. Ames was consistent in his handling of the small, snub noses and generous mouths of his young subjects. His last main concern was

with the drapery of the costume which he carved in a concrete and exact manner. Ames' work has been appropriately likened to that of the itinerant portraitists and displays a similar straightforward sensibility. Despite his formulaic approach, however, each The Clarion

sculpture manages to convey a deep sense of the individuality of its subject and reveals some of the gravest and most respectful likenesses of children created in the folk genre. It has been suggested that little development is shown in Ames' work, which approximately spans the period 1847-1850. However, the competency of the extant works belies the young age of the artist and indicates a great potential for the mature development of his skills,' which he never had a chance to realize since he died the following year. The memorial carving of Sarah Reliance and Ann Augusta Ayer reflects the growing sentimentality of the Victorian age in its symbolic use of the lamb and salver. An inscription on the back relates the sad history of the death of the two young sisters at the ages of one and three, respectively. The artist's name and the date is clearly inscribed around the base of the memorial. A child's doll has recently been located which may also have been carved by Ames. The doll exhibits many of the characteristics by which Ames' work is identified: The snub nose, wide mouth, and elaborately carved hair. Although the doll is not as finely carved as the full-scale portraits, this may be attributable to size, or it may simply be unfinished. However, the shape of the doll's face and hands and general dimensions of the figure are consistent with Ames' other carvings, particularly the memorial to Sarah Reliance and Ann Augusta Ayer. The phrenological bust is perhaps the most interesting of Ames' carvings. It was introduced at the Brooklyn Museum in the 1948 exhibition, "Popular Art in America:'The sculpture portrays a young girl in a simple red dress with draped neckline and short, puffed sleeves. The body is handled in Ames' typical fashion, compact and static. The work exhibits the same concentration on the drapery and features of the face as his other works and could be a Summer 1989

Figurehead from bark Soloman Piper; Maker unknown; Mid窶馬ineteenth century; Wood; 30" h. Courtesy ofPeabody Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.

specific portrait. The distinguishing mark of this work, however, is the colorfully mapped head depicting the thirty-seven phrenological organs. Each area is delineated by a shallow incised line and is painted and marked with a particular phrenological function

in a cursive hand, closely following the Fowler chart. It is not known precisely when or for whom this head was made but correspondence with the town historian of Evans suggests a phrenological connection evidenced in the form of un33

Seated Female Figure with Lamb and Cup; Asa Ames; Dated 1850; Polychromed yellow poplar; 29/ 1 4x 12/ 1 4x 12"(including base). Courtesy of Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut. Purchased with funds bequeathed by Roscoe Nelson Gray in memory of Roscoe Nelson Dalton Gray and Rene Gabrielle Gray.

published diaries of Elliott Stewart. Stewart was a prominent man in the area â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a Buffalo lawyer, a farmer, a writer and, later in life, a non-resident 34

professor at Cornell University. His diaries of 1858-9 include numerous allusions to a Dr. Marvin and his family.

The Federal Census of 1850 locates Ames in the household of Dr. Harvey Marvin with his occupation listed as "sculpturing!' Dr. Marvin probably moved to Evans sometime between 1846 and 1849 and enjoyed some popularity in the community.' He was a firm believer in phrenology, spiritualism, magnetism and hydropathy and had plans to build a house for water-cure patients. The house was built, but never used because of a series of events which turned popular opinion against Dr. Marvin and his teachings. May 4,1858 Dr. Marvin and wife called & took dinner with us at 2 P.M. The Dr. was in good spirits and we had a pleasant conversation on various topics. He gave an account of the persecution he had received sinse (sic) he built his house for water-cure patients. It seems that a clergyman who preached at Jerusalem (East Evans)some 5 years ago,took offense at some of his opinions and took occasion to abuse Mrs. a Sunday School, at which Dr. Marvin reproved him. This was repeated at another time, when the Dr. told him he was a liar, after this this clergyman told his friends that the Dr. had a league with the Devil & that if anyone shook hands with him the Devil might get a permanent hold on him through the Dr. This declaration of Morse (David Morse was preacher at First Church of Evans 1850-52), the clergyman had so much effect, that persons who had previously been the Des friends, now they avoided him and would not meet him for fear they would come in contact and thereby deliver themselves to the Devil. The result has been that the Dr. himself has been all broken up, and he has not been able to use the house for the purpose intended. Such folly can hardly be believed possible in an enlightened community. But superstition is as powerful as ever. His enemies told every ridiculous story they could invent in reference to his experiments in Spiritualism, and nothing is too absurd for people to believe in reference to what they do not want to understand.' The Clarion

Sept. 12 Went to Dr. Marvins & stayed till 4 P.M. Had an interesting conversation with him on various topics, among which were Magnetism & Spiritualism. The

Dr. is becoming quite conservative. He is now willing to wait for the world to progress at its leisure. He is now in a condition of mind to investigate cooly and I have no doubt, is forming very rational conclusions:" Dr. Marvin left Evans and died in 1870 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Town tradition maintains that Ames had tuberculosis and was under Dr. Marvin's care." The close relationship between Ames and Dr. Marvin logically suggests that the phrenological head was made during their association. It is possible that the head was carved for use in Dr. Marvin's proposed water-cure establishment and may have been modelled after Dr. Marvin's daughter Frances, whose age was given as seven at the time of the 1850 census. It is not so unusual that Ames would evince an interest in the water-cure, which promised relief from virtually every adverse physical condition. Joseph Whiting Stock, who also suffered from tuberculosis, explored the same path in his search for a cure. They were both, of course, unsuccessful. Stock died of the disease in 1855 at the age of thirtyseven and Ames died in 1851 at age twenty-seven years, seven months and seven days according to his tombstone in the Evans Center Cemetary. Today phrenology has been relegated to the province of palm readers and occult stores, but the phrenological bust by Asa Ames speaks eloquently of Summer 1989

Stacy C. Hollander is a graduate of New York University Master's Degree program in American Folk Art Studies. She has recently completed a two year cataloguing project for the Museum funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and is currently Assistant Curator at the Museum of American Folk Art.

Doll; Attributed to Asa Ames; Circa 1848-50. Carved wood head, hands and feet, linen cloth 4". Courtesy ofthe Museum of 1 2x 5/ 1 body;26x 27/ American Folk Art, New York. Promised bequest ofDorothy and Leo Rabkin. Jabisid pretpli :ototid

On December 20, 1858, Stewart attended an evening lecture on phrenology, delivered in Buffalo by the Fowlers. The entries continue to discuss Dr. Marvin and his troubles and mention his increasingly philosophical attitude towards the community.

a time when people believed that history and personal fortune could be predicted and molded by the bumps on their heads.

NOTES I. "To Dr. Thomas Sewall': April 5, 1839, An Examination of Phrenology in Two Lectures, Thomas Sewall, M.D.,(Boston: D.S. King, 1839), ii. 2. Dr. Gall made countless case studies of groups of people distinguished by a particular talent or by aberrant behavior. He examined poets, musicians, artists, statesmen, criminals and the insane searching for common causative denominators. It was partially through these studies that he was able to divide the brain into its separate phrenological organs. 3. The "practical phrenologists" examined the contours of the skull to determine the character of each subject. They believed that the larger the area of the cranium, the more highly developed that particular faculty. This was an application undreamed of by Dr. Gall whose goal was a scientific investigation and understanding of cerebral structure and of the organic interaction between brain function and behavior. In this capacity, prenology affected the early directions of both neurology and physical anthropology. 4. Phrenology was condemned by the Austrian government as materialistic, and undermining the religious and moral fiber of the nation. This accusation dogged phrenology throughout Europe and followed the science across the Atlantic to America where the science was virtually denounced by the fundamentalist clergy. 5. John D. Davies, Phrenology, Fad and Science, Diss., Yale, 1955, (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1955), p.8. 6. Davies, p.17. 7. Davies, p.50. 8. Davies, p.44. 9. Letter received from Paul D'Ambrosio, October 26, 1987. 10. For an extensive discussion of this aspect of phrenology, see Davies, pp.79-105. 11. Grace Adams Lyman,"William Matthew Prior, The 'Painting Garret' Artist': The Magazine Antiques, November, 1934. p.180. 12. Juliette Tomlinson, The Paintings and Journal of Joseph Whiting Stock, (Middletown, Connecticut: Wesleyan University Press, 1976), pp, 56-7. 13. Mary Black, "Phrenological Associations," The Clarion, Spring, 1984, p.47. 14. Davies, p.12. 15. Jack T. Ericson, "Asa Ames, sculptor',' The Magazine Antiques, September, 1982, p.523. 16. Black, p.52. 17. Letter received from Mrs. Annette Frost, November 16, 1987. 18. Excerpt from unpublished diaries of Elliott Stewart, contained in letter received by author from Mrs. Annette Frost, November 16, 1987. 19. Ibid., diary entry for September 12, 1858. 20. Letter received from Mrs. Annette Frost, November 16, 1987. 35


RELIGIOUS SYMBOLISM IN AFRICAN-AMERICAN QUILTS by Maude Southwell Wahlman.Ph.D. My analysis of most African-American folk arts reveals a cultural strategy of sorting African heritages into luxuries to be jettisoned or essential intellectual tools with which to comprehend a new world. Protective religious ideas, interpreted in folk arts, were intellectual tools of survival. Religious writing and healing charms are two significant religious concepts which had profound influences on traditional AfricanAmerican folk arts. In general, it appears that many African-American painters were influenced by African and African-Caribbean ground painting and ideographic traditions, while many sculptors were influenced by African and African-Caribbean charm-making traditions. Many African-American quilters, however, seem to have been influenced by both religious signs and charm traditions. However, because folk arts are usually passed from one generation to the next by example, and often without verbal explanations of the religious significance of forms, many AfricanAmericans are unaware of the meanings behind the forms they use in their arts. Some of these forms can be understood and explained by examining these folk arts from a historical perspective. As children, many African-Americans were exposed to traditional religious concepts and symbolic visual forms which later surfaced in their adult arts. Their arts revived a past cultural environment which emphasized religious symbols with meanings which could not always be put into words.




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Robert Farris Thompson records similar instances in African arts containing concepts which may be too important to put into speech.'That so many AfricanAmerican folk artists create art with visual ties to African and African-Latin American religious concepts indicates that many may be consciously or unconsciously reviving and reformulating previous cultural systems which valued these forms highly. As the famous art historian George Kubler once noted, ideas encoded in objects sometimes last longer than those retained in words: The artist is not a free agent obeying only his own will. His situation is rigidly bound by a chain of prior events. The chain is invisible to him and it limits his motion. He is not aware of it as a chain but only as a vis a tergo, as the force of events behind him. The conditions imposed by these prior events require of him either that he follow obediently in the path of tradition, or that he rebel against the tradition. In either case, his decision is not a free one;it is dictated by prior events of which he senses only dimly and indirectly the overpowering urgency, and by his own congenital peculiarities of temperment... the individual is driven in every action by forces of an intensity absent from other lives; he is possessed by his vision of the possible, and he is obsessed by the urgency of its realization, in a solitary posture of intense effort, traditionally represented by the figures of the poet or the muse'. This article will examine the ways in which African-American women quilters have preserved important aspects of traditional African value systems, particularly writing systems and charm traditions. First we will look at African scripts or ideographic systems, then see how these ideas and forms are recombined in various new ways in African-Latin American signs, and in particular in textiles. When we go on to look at certain African-American quilts with symbolic designs, we can then do so with an informed eye and an historic awareness of previous manipulations of symbolic designs. Next we make the same geographic journey from Africa to the New World and the United States, while examining the history of protective religious charms. Summer 1989

In Africa, among the Mande, Fon, Ejagham, Yoruba, Kongo and other cultures,indigenous and imported writing is associated with knowledge, power, and intelligence, and thus is considered sacred and protective. African signs were sewn, dyed, painted or woven into cloth; and Central African artifacts were often read as aspects of a Kongo religious cosmogram.


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Nsibidi, the ideographic writing system of the Ejagham peoples of Nigeria, can be seen on tombstones, secretsociety buildings, calabashes, cloth, costumes, ritualfans and in gestures and ground paintings.

West African itual vision.

Nsibidi sign for physical and spir-

In West Africa, Bamana women paint cloth, called Bogolanfini (which has been woven by men on a narrow loom and then sewn into fabrics), with designs similar to a syllabary created by the Vai people in the nineteenth century, but which is thought to have much older precedents. Bogolanfini fabrics were used for women's wrappers and protective clothing for hunters. Of Bamana cloths, it has been written,"... the Mande themselves, coded, in discretionary irregularities of design, visual analogues to danger, matters too serious to impart directly:" Also in West Africa, Mande peoples encased pieces of religious writing, indigenous and Islamic, in leather, cloth or metal charms, which were worn around the neck or sewn to gowns, quilted war shirts and horse blankets. These fabrics were protective due to the padding, as well as the practice of sewing numerous bundles containing scripts onto or inside the quilting. In the Republic of Benin, Fon priests painted religious signs on the ground. In Nigeria, the Yoruba people believe in the concept of a crossroads, presided over by Elegba, a god in the Yoruba pantheon. Also in Nigeria, the Ejagham people are known for their 400-year old writing system, called Nsibidi.4 It was most likely invented by women since one sees it on their secret society buildings, fans, calabashes, cloth, and costumes made for the men's secret Leopard Society. For the Ejagham, the leopard is the symbol of power, intelligence, and cool leadership.' Ejagham women make woven costumes and resist-dyed and appliquéd cloths featuring checks, triangles, and other Nsibidi signs. These textiles are worn by dancers or hang in shrines. Six hundred and ninety Nsibidi symbols are known.' Light and dark triangles or squares represent leopard spots; intersecting arcs represent love or marriage. An important Nsibidi sign is that of four eyes; two for physical vision and two for spiritual vision.' Nsibidi is also drawn on the ground and used in gestures. Some of these same patterns are evident in many AfricanAmerican quilts, perhaps made by women who remembered Nsibidi writ37

ing, or the concept of the Leopard Society. Central African peoples, influenced by the religion of the Kongo people, practiced a healing, curing religion, promoted by priests who used symbolic art forms related to the Kongo cosmogram â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a circle with four points representing birth, life, death, and rebirth in the world of the ancestors, under the sea.8 The top of the circle can be considered the noontime of life, the peak of power and potential; its opposite, the midnight sun at the bottom, represents the power and position of the ancestors below the sea;to the left is the position of dusk, death, and transition from the land of the living to the watery world of the ancestors; to the right is the position of the rising sun, or birth; and the horizontal axis represents the transition between air and water. Robert Farris Thompson reports that Kongo priests drew the cosmogram on the earth, and Kongo and related peoples bury their dead chiefs in red cloth mummies often decorated with the sign of the cosmogram.9 Images like these red mummies appear in African-Latin America, in Vodun dolls in the United States, and in African-American quilts made in Mississippi. In the New World, various mixtures of West African (Vai, Fon) and Nigerian (Nsibidi) scripts, the Yoruba concept of a crossroads, and the Kongo cosmogram, fuse to create numerous new scripts which are seen in folk arts, including textiles. African-Brazilian signs, called "marked points" (pontos riscados or points drawn)can be found in ground paintings, on a green silk sash for the Yoruba god, Ogun, as well as on a red 1969 charm.'° In Suriname, the Maroon ideographic system, called Afaka, is embroidered by women onto loincloths and capes for their men, and painted by men onto houses and paddles, as well as carved on stools and houseparts. Cuban Anaforuana signs are seen in ground paintings which often feature four eyes, for real and for spiritual vision, and in the reappearance of the men's secret society costume featuring Nsibidi checks to represent leopard's spots and power." Similar costumes are now seen in Miami, and some of these signs con38

tinue in African-American quilt top designs. Haitian ideographic signs, called Veve, derive from a mixture of Fon, Yoruba, Ejagham, and Kongo traditions. People from all these cultures were taken to Haiti in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and gradually their religions and graphic forms merged with Catholicism into the Vodun religion. In Haitian art we see the reappearance of the Kongo cosmogram, in textiles, groundpainting, cut steel sculptures, and in paintings depicting marriages, ceremonies, life, death, the watery ancestral world, and the rebirth of souls. Some Haitian textiles are considered protective. A shirt called a Mayo features red and white, or red, white, and blue strips, and is worn for protection against evil.' And Melville Herskovits writes of a multicolored garment called a rade de

capes, vivid assemblages of paper, cloth, mirrors, and sequins, often with a sign for a god, which are worn by major joncs, men whose role is to recruit followers, attract donors, and protect the Rara band from magical attacks.'6 After Haitian independence in 1804, many free Africans came to New Orleans, and the Vodun religion spread throughout the Southern United States. Vestiges of African-American protective writing traditions began to occur in African-American folk arts. Many African-American painters incorporate vestiges of half remembered writing systems in their arts. In Georgia, J.B. Murray painted secret signs which he said must be read by looking through a glass of water'', and Nellie Mae Rowe depicted Veve-like designs in many of her paintings. Minnie Evans, from North Carolina, clearly depicts the

Haitian Vodun flag; Circa 1983; 27 x 327 It is embroidered with sequins which form Veve designsfor Dumballa the rainbow god, the Kongo cross, and stars(protective signs).

penitence, which he described as "a complex merging of European and African secular and religious customs . For men this takes the form of a multicolored shirt, for women a dress whose colors are dictated by the loa [god]. In one instance a man wore a red shirt with black crosses appliquĂŠd on if.' A similar one was illustrated in a 1985 National Geographic magazine. Haitian Vodun flags, featuring sequined signs to honor syncretic gods, are touched together at the beginning of a Vodun ceremony. The flags announce the coming of a particular spirit to a shrine. Mpeve, the Kikongo word for flag, refers to both fluttering and the presence of unseen spirits." Related to Vodun flags are the Rara(from Yoruba, meaning noisy)" festival tunics and

Kongo cosmogram in many of her works. One also finds script-like quilts. One particularly intriguing quilt was made in Virginia around 1840 to 1850 by an unidentified quilter. A curator recognized Masonic and seemingly Pennsylvania German elements among the designs," but the American art historian, Jules Prown, denies any German connections.' A closer look and a knowledge of Haitian ideograms makes one think of the mixture of Vodun and Masonic signs in Veve. The quilt has different designs arranged in nine squares with narrow strips between each square, and a floral border. The seven-crossed designs are especially similar to Haitian Veve. The central design shows a couple surrounded by two concentric circles, which is why it has been called a wedding quilt. An alternative explanation would be to compare this design to the Ejagham sign for a lodge with a meeting."The lower right square incorThe Clarion

M porates some designs which look like the bisecting forms of two compasses. A similar design is seen in the Ejagham Nsibidi script and in Afro-Suriname Afaka script. In both cultures, the signs refer to love or marriage. The lower center square is full of stars, Ejagham signs of speech. It may not be possible to prove that this is an African-American quilt, but certainly that possibility should not be denied. In 1980, Pecolia Warner made her red, white and blue stripped version of a United States flag quilt. She said that she dreamed of the quilt after seeing a flag at the post office. In her hands it has become an African-American version of the protective Haitian Mayo, featuring strips, red, white and blue colors, large designs, asymmetry, at least two patterns, and stars which resemble the Ejagham symbol for speech and are also a protective sign for

2x 1 Tulli Wedding Quilt; Virginia;1840-1850;92/ 947 Collection of the Atlanta Historical Society. This quilt incorporates designs that resemble Haitian Veve.

Africans in Haiti. Checks are another popular old African-American quilt top pattern remembered from early childhood. Checked designs can be made from the smallest scraps, and also allow for maximum contrast between squares without elaborate preplanning. Checked designs are transformed into the popular "Nine-Patch" block design borrowed from Anglo-American quiltmaking traditions. One can speculate that some African-Americans adopted "Nine-Patch" and other checked and triangular patterns, like "Wild Goose Chase,' because they resembled the Leopard Society cloths of their heritage. Cross-like patterns also occur frequently in African-American quilts. Although now interpreted as Christian crosses, they could once have been adopted because of a resemblance to the Yoruba belief in sacred crossroads, or the Kongo symbol for the four points of the sun. Mary Wining commented on a Summer 1989

design in a quilt made in John's Island, South Carolina: "It was not a Christian cross, according to residents.... It represented danger, evil, and bad feelings.'"' The "Broken Stove" or "Love Knot" pattern is also popular among AfricanAmerican quilters. It features a circle divided into four sections. Pecolia Warner called her circles,"The eyes" of the stove and of the quilt. The four eyes may allude to the Ejagham belief in two sets of eyes. The concept reoccurs in Cuban scripts (Anaforuana), in combination with the Kongo cosmogram. There the circle is divided into four, with a small circle in each quadrant." Appliquéd suns are the most elaborate pieced shapes in two nineteenth century quilts by Harriet Powers. African-American quiltmakers might have preferred sun-like designs because they remembered either Ejagham, Kongo, Haitian, or Cuban designs, or because they were similar to AngloAmerican patterns such as "The Com-

pass': Most likely, sun-like motifs were originally maintained due to memories of the Kongo cosmogram, but later the original meanings were forgotten. Considering the fact that one-third of all African-Americans in the United States came from Zaire and Angola, this is not improbable. Writing continued to have protective symbolism in African-American culture, even when the writing was in English. Newsprint was placed on the walls of Southern homes, partly for protection against the weather. But in African-American homes — and in shoes, as well — it protected against both the weather and evil enslaving spirits, in the belief that "evil spirits would have to stop and read the words of each chopped up column" before 'Dr. Trudier they could do any harm.2 Harris believes this concept derives from the African-American practice of leaving a Bible open at night so that the power of religious words would protect a family against evening evil." Roger 39

ing writing in charms, because writing was considered protective due to the knowledge it contained. These small square packets, often of. red leather, cloth or metal, enclosing script, were worn around the neck and sewn on hunting and religious costumes, as protection against evil. Fon charms, from The Republic of Benin, were documented by Melville Herskovits in 1938, and come in many forms, including pots, bracelets, and carved and tied forms." Recently, Robert Farris Thompson wrote that a Yoruba ancestral (Egungun) cloth costume from Nigeria can be used as a charm against evi1.28 Textiles are a key ingredient in making charms, whether made in Africa or the New World, by men or women, priest, conjureman, priestess, conjurewoman or quilter. To conjure is to call upon spiritual powers to activate a

Album Quilt; Josie Covington; Triune, Tennessee;1895;80 x 81"; Collection ofRichard H. and Kathleen L. Hulan. This quilt exemplifies the African-American principle ofprotective multiple patterning; evil spirits have to decode the complex mixture ofpatterns before doing harm.

Abrahams found that in many early literate cultures one puts a Bible under the pillow" if one wants a wish fulfilled, or protection for a child. Dynamic African-American quilts are protective in the same sense as newspapered walls, with their hard to read, asymmetrical designs and multiple patterns. In particular, a quilt from Triune, Tennessee stitched in 1900 by Josie Covington can be compared to newsprint on walls." Both convey multiple messages in printed words and magazine photos, or in ideographic "Nine Patch',' "Wild Geese': and triangle images. While contemporary quilters do not speak openly of quilts as protective coverings or as confusing to evil spirits, their aesthetic choices do imply traditions which once had protective significance, and that may well be a continuation of protective African ideographs. 40

African-American quilts are asymmetrical in their designs and multiple patterns partly because of a traditional technical process and because of earlier, perhaps lost, desires to confuse the reading of the text-like designs for strangers or evil spirits. Various African traditions of healing, or protective charms, also resurface in visual forms in African-American folk arts in the New World, including African-American quilt tops. African and African-American charms are made by priests on commission from clients with political, personal, physical, emotional, or religious problems and each charm is an improvised solution to an individual need. Some charms are more protective â&#x20AC;&#x201D; others are to heal. Many charm-making traditions came from West Africa. As previously mentioned, there was a tradition of enclos-

charm, whether to cure a sickness, or to heal an emotional wound. Thus in the United States, African-Americans with spiritual talents are referred to as conjuremen or conjurewomen. In Central Africa, the Kongo Minkisi, or the medicines of God, appear in numerous forms usually activated by reciting verbs of action, to conjure the powers that ancestors had to make charms work. Minkisi medicines fall into two classes: Spirit-embodying materials such as shells, graveyard earth, and clay; and spirit-directing medicines such as animal claws. Thompson reports that important charms could be put upon a cosmogram painted on the ground; and some Kongo priests place charms and ideographic signs on the walls of their shrines in order to neutralize negative forces." Ceramic vessels with liquid medicines were an early type of Kongo The Clarion

charm." Another form occurs in Kongo graves with symbolic objects which are references to the watery world of the ancestors. Cloth forms, usually red, could be tied at the neck, with feathers at the top." This cloth type of Nkisi is sometimes seen on ceremonial hats where the charms are surrounded by buttons or animal claws. The ultimate charms were large cloth figures, wrapped in red blankets, "used to transport the smoke-mummified bodies of the most important persons from this world to the next': and often protected with the cosmogram sign to insure the prosperity of the Kongo nation." Smaller "reliquary mannequins, called Muzidi or Kiimbi,functioned as vessels for hair, nails, human ashes, and other relics of important persons." A wooden version often took a human or animal shape, with a hollow in the center for the magical curing substances. This cavity was sealed with glass, a shell, mica, or a mirror, all references to the watery land of the Kongo ancestors. Nails were some-

times used to activate these wooden charms. A fusion of the cloth form and the wooden form occurs in the AfricanAmerican vodun doll. When these charm-making ideas were remembered in the New World, they took different forms and different meanings, partly because ideas from West and Central Africa fused and then further creolized with American Indian and European ideas, and also because of new cultural environments. African charm-making traditions influenced African-Latin American and AfricanAmerican charms and textiles." In the Indiana University museum there is a small rectangular African-Brazilian charm made from styrofoam covered with red plastic with writing on the outside." Other African-Brazilian charms, for love and war, called ponto de seguar (securing points) are small cloth containers designed to stop a spirit or attract a person to its owner. These charms are sealed with tight crisscrossing cords." In Suriname, Melville Herskovits discovered numer-

2"h. 1 Kongo hat with protective cloth Nldsi(medicine ofGod);Made after 1950:9 x6/

Summer 1989

ous charms, called Obia, used to protect, warn, and heal members of secret societies." Other specially prepared necklaces, armbands, and belts were worn for protection against sickness and evil spirits." In African-Cuban culture one finds beaded charms, tied charms, and pots with cosmogram-like signs and magical ingredients. Many African-Cuban examples are now appearing in Miami, and many of these ideas will appear in African-American quilt top patterns. In Haiti, the Kongo cloth charm is still very much in evidence in the form of pacquet kongo â&#x20AC;&#x201D; small tightly wound charms enclosed in cloth, with arms, beads around the neck, ribbons and sequins. Some of these pieces have earrings, or lace ruffles, and are meant to represent female spirits." Maya Deren noted that "Pacquets Congo... are bound as magical safeguards ... whose efficiency depends on the technique of careful wrapping (the idea being to enclose the soul well, so as to keep it from evil)...""In Haiti one also finds

Pacquet Congo;Circa 1960;6" h. This is a small tightly wound Haitian charm enclosed in cloth, with arms, beads, ribbons and sequins.


illusions to Mbaka, little red figures thought to be messengers from the dead among the Kongo.' They look like the small Kongo reliquaries, and one sees examples in Haitian paintings; in Haiti and Cuba they are called Baka." In the United States, these African and African-Caribbean cloth charm traditions evolve into several new forms. One is the Vodun doll, which can be traced from New Orleans to the Haitian Pacquet Congo and the Baka of Cuba and Haiti, to the Kongo red mummy, the Kongo wooden Nkisi with nails, and other Kongo cloth charms. An example of a Vodun doll was found on the Melrose plantation in Louisiana. Often these dolls are made with pins to activate them, just as Kongo wooden charms are activated by nails. A black cloth doll made in 1950 was recently discovered in Alabama, with mismatched socks to confuse and thwart malevolent spirits." The AfricanAmerican folk painters Nellie Mae

Rowe and Lizzie Wilkerson more recently made dolls with red arms and legs, but neither woman would explain why she used red cloth." For some quilters, the protective symbolism of Vodun dolls may have been forgotten but they continue to use the form in new ways. Two Mississippi quilters appliqué designs featuring red figures reminiscent of Vodun dolls on their quilts and pillows. They refer to their patterns as "Men'? "Dolly Dingle Dolls' "Cowboys" and "Fashionable Ladies'? The term "mojo" comes from the Kikongo word Mooyo, referring to the soul, spiritual spark or force in Kongo charms." The African-American term Mojo refers to a hex or spell, healing medicine,and the charm or amulet used to lift a spell or protect one from evil forces, as in the folksong "Got My Mojo Working',' popularized by blues singer Muddy Waters." A small square red African-American cloth charm is called a "mojo:' or a "hand" (in the

sense that a charm is a helping hand) and it fuses West African and Central African charm concepts. Graphic hands are seen on the houses of West African priests as well as protective shapes in many cultures." In Brazil, one finds carved wooden hands sometimes worn as charms, as on a doll dressed as a Brazilian Yoruba priestess, collected by Frances Herskovits. Zora Neal Hurston collected this information about a "hand": Take a piece of the fig leaf, sycamore bark, John de Conquer root, John de Conquer vine, three paradise seeds. Take a piece of paper and draw a square and let the party write his wishes. Begin, "I want to be successful in all my undertakings': Then cut the paper from around the square and let him tear it up fine and throw it in front of the business place or house of wherever he wants. Put the square in the "hand"and sew it all up in red flannel. Sew with a strong thread and when seams are closed, pass the

Mermaid Quilt;Sarah Mary Taylor; Mississippi; 1980; 78 x 727In addition to the hand appliqués, red squares ofthe same size, shape and color as the African-American "mojo" or "hand" reaffirm a knowledge ofAfrican-American charms.

thread back and forth through the bag 'til all the thread is used up. To pour on "hand:" oil of anise, oil of rose geranium, violet perfume, oil of lavender, verbena, bay rum. "Hand must be renewed every six months:'" Many African-American quilters prefer patterns, such as the "Nine Patch',' which incorporate small red squares which look like a "mojo:' An 1895 album quilt by Josie Covington is significant because it incorporates so many protective African concepts. The quilt has been pieced together in large complex squares which are hard to see because of the protective multiple patterning (like newspapers on walls to slow down evil spirits), and the center features an appliquéd hand, which Josie Covington made by tracing the hand of her son, Sercy, when he was three." There are also many small red squares. 42

The Clarion


This may have been made as a protective quilt for her son who was 86 years old in 1978." More recently, Sarah Mary Taylor of Mississippi produced a quilt, which she calls "Mermaid',' with female figures appliquĂŠd onto white squares. These figures could be derived from Vodun dolls or from the widespread "Mamy Wata" figure in African mythology and religion. In addition the quilt design features numerous small red squares, the same size, shape and color as the African-American "mojo" or "hand'? One red square has a blue hand appliquĂŠd adjacent to it, reaffirming a knowledge of the other term for an African-American charm. Sarah Mary Taylor also made numerous"hand"quilts, using the hand for its aesthetic and symbolic connotations. Ten hands from one of her quilts were reproduced in a poster used to represent the power and creativity of ten Black quilters featured in a traveling exhibi-

Everybody Quilt; Pearlie Posey; Mississippi: 1980; 78 x 64!' Vodun dolls, hands, letters and red "mojo" shapes are incorporated into the design ofthis protective quilt.

tion. Sarah Mary Taylor's mother, Pearlie Posey, made a protective quilt which she called "Everybody" and which includes Vodun dolls, hands, letters, and red mojo shapes. In Atlanta, Georgia, the late Arester Earl made a significant African-American charm-like quilt with pleated and stuffed shells. The three-dimensional shells in many colors, patterns, and materials, mostly silky, are sewn onto a red cloth. The quilt is significant because it illustrates three important Kongo religious principles: That of Minkisi, or the medicines of God, charms enclosed in cloth; the form and meaning of the shell, emblem of the sea, world of Kongo ancestors; and the shape of the cross, or the Kongo cosmogram. That a quilter could have naively combined these potent Kongo religious symbols seems unlikely. Summer 1989

Consciously or unconsciously, some well known quilt patterns may have been adapted by African-Americans because they resembled important ideas in Ejagham and Kongo religions. Small squares are reminiscent of Nsibidi costumes for the Leopard Society, script enclosing charms from West Africa, or a cloth Nkisifrom Central Africa. Some Anglo-American pattern terms such as "Flying Geese',' "Rocky Road to California" and "Drunkards Path" are indicative of action, while patterns such as "Bears Paw"imply action, similar to Kongo charms, where objects are sometimes used because their names are puns for verbs of action. In Kongo religion, it is important to activate a charm to make it work, and words are often part of the process. Certain "Anglo" patterns may appeal to African-American quilters for several cul-

tural reasons, visual and verbal. Most ideas highly valued by cultures are encoded in many forms. Such seems to be the case with African protective religious ideas which have been converted into visual arts, songs, dance, and black speech in Africa and the New World. All forms recognize improvisation as a style; and many refer to West African and Central African religious concepts which survive in contemporary African-American cultures because they have been encoded so many ways. The redundancy indicates high value and ensures survivability. This article attempts to explain the survival and transformation of African writing and charm traditions in one form, African-American quiltmaking. The evidence is equally rich, powerful and eloquent for continuities between 43

24. 1i-tidier Harris, personal communication, 1984. 25. Roger Abrahams told me that the practice of enclosing magical holy words to increase their power is found widely in early literate cultures. The Bible is used as an amulet and sea divining tool; if you are looking for a sign of what to do, open the Bible and read the first verse you encounter. 26. John Vlach, The Afro-American Tradition in the Decorative Arts. Cleveland: The Cleveland Museum of Art, 1978: pp. 74, 139. 27. Melville Herskovits, Dahomey, An Ancient African Kingdom. NY: J.J. Augustin, 1938: figures 3,4,7, 15, 17, 18. 28. Robert Farris Thompson, "Introduction': in John Nunley and Judith Bettleheim, Caribbean Festival Arts. St. Louis Art Museum, 1988, p. 26. 29. Thompson, 1981: p. 151. 30. Jansen and McGaffey, 1974: p. 37. 31. See Thompson, 1983: plate 72. 32. Thompson, 1981: pp. 63-71. 33. Thompson, 1981: p. 31. 34. See Maude Wahlman, "Afro-American Quiltmaking" and "Pecolia Warner, Afro-American Quiltrnaker" in The Encyclopaedia of Southern Culture. University, MS: Center for the Study of Southern Culture; "Symbolic Dimensions of African-American Quilts" in Reflections ofFaith. New York: The Museum of American Folk Art; "The African-American experience as seen in Mississippi African-American Folk Arts" Proceedings, Con-

Shell Quilt; Arester Earl; Atlanta, Georgia; 1979; 71 x Colorful pleated and stuffed shells, the emblem of the sea world, are sewn onto red cloth creating a quilt that illustrates the Kongo cosmogram (shape of the cross) and Minkisi (medicines ofGod). aâ&#x20AC;˘

African writing and charm traditions in African-American architecture, ceramics, painting, sculpture and environments. Maude Southwell Wahlman, Ph.D., Chairperson ofthe Art Department at the University ofCentral Florida, will be the keynote speaker at the symposium "Stitched from the Sour presented by the Museum of American Folk Art, New York City, on Friday, July 21, 1989. Her topic is "Religious Symbolism and Regional Variations in African-American Quilts'? Dr. Wahlman is currently completing a book, The Art ofAfro-American Quiltmaking, based on her dissertation from Yale University. She is the author of the soon-to-be released Mojo Working: African Religious Symbolism in Afro-American Folk Arts. NOTES 1. Robert Farris Thompson, Flash of the Spirit: African and Afro-American Art and Philosophy. New York: Random House, 1983: p. 297. 2. George Kubler, The Shape ofTime. Yale University Press, 1976: pp. 50-51. 3. Thompson, 1983: p. 222. 4. See RA. Talbot,In the Shadow ofthe Bush. London: William Heinemann, 1912. 5. Robert Farris Thompson, African Art in Motion. Washington,DC:The National Gallery, 1974: p. 18. 6. Kenneth Campbell, "Nsibidi Update,' Arts Afri-


ciane, 1985: p. 45. 7. Thompson, 1983: p. 248. 8. See Thompson, 1983, John Jansen and Wyatt McGaffy, An Anthology of Kongo Religion. Lawrence; The University of Kansas Press, 1974; FuKiau Bunseki, Nza Kongo, Kinshasa, 1969. 9. Robert Farris Thompson, Four Moments ofthe Sun. (with Pierre Cornet). Washington: The National Gallery, 1981: pp. 63-71. 10. Thompson, 1983: p. 116, Pl. 68. II. Thompson, 1983: pp. 262-266, plates 159, 161. 12. Ute Stebich, Haitian Art, New York: The Brooklyn Museum, 1978: p. 191. 13. Melville Herskovits, Life in a Haitian Valley. Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1971: pp. 254-5. 14. Thompson, 1981: p. 191. IS. Dolores Yonkers, in John Nunley and Judith Bettleheim, Caribbean Festival Arts. St. Louis Art Museum, 1988: p. 151. 16. Ibid., p. 148. 17. Judith MacWillie, "Another Face of the Diamond: Black Traditional Art from the Deep South': The Clarion, vol. 12, no. 4, pp. 42-53. 18. Elizabeth Reynolds, Southern Comfort. Atlanta: Atlanta Historical Society, 1978: pp. 34-35. 19. Jules Prown, personal communication, 1980. 20. Talbot, 1912. 21. Mary Twining,"An Examination of African Retentions in the Folk Culture of the South Carolina and Georgia Sea Islands' Indiana University Ph.D. Dissertation, 1977: p. 188. 22. Thompson, 1983: p. 248. 23. Ruth Bass,"Mojo" and "The Little Man':in Mother Wit and the Laughing Barrel. (Allan Dundes, Ed.) New York: Prentice Hall, Inc., 1973: p. 393.

ference on the Black Experience in Mississippi., University, MS: University of Mississippi, AfroAmerican Studies Department. 35. Thompson, 1981: p. 18. 36. Thompson, 1983: p. 127. 37. Melville Herskovits, Rebel Destiny: Among the Bush Negroes ofDutch Guiana. New York: McGraw Hill Book Co., Inc., 1934: p. 307-326. 38. Richard and Sally Price, Afro-American Arts ofthe Suriname Rainforest. UCLA: Museum of Cultural History, 1980: p. 86. 39. Thompson, 1983: pp. 31-36. 40. Maya Deren, Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti. NY: Thames and Hudson, 1953: p. 275. 41. Melville Herskovits, 1971: pp. 239-244. 42. Seldon Rodman, The Miracle ofHaitian Art, 1965: p. 76. 43. Eugene Metcalf & Michael Hall, The Ties That Bind: Folk Art in Contemporary American Culture. Cincinnati, OH: The Contemporary Arts Center, 1986; and Thompson, 1983: p. 221. 44. Jean Ellen Jones, personal communication, 1984. 45. The y lightly changes to a j. Personal communication, Robert Farris Thompson, 1984. 46. Folk song written by Willie Dixon for Muddy Waters, with whose name the song is usually associated. Other bluesmen have recorded the song, however, among them B.B. King for ABC records, Inc., in 1977. Personal communication, Sue Hart and Phillips Stevens Jr. 47. Nunley and Bettleheim, 1988: p. 123. 48. Zora Neal Hurston, "Hoodoo in America'.' Journal ofAmerican Folklore, 1931: vol. 44: p. 414. 49. See Vlach, 1978, illustration p. 139. 50. Richard Hulan, personal communication, 1989.

The Clarion


Summer 1989

Ave/A ,$)hatule cr/neil4efiei(,e4m,

Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago

High on the list ofimportant nineteenth century American folk artists is the name of Joseph H. Davis. His delightful water color portraits have been eagerly sought by museums and collectors. He was featured in the exhibition "Three New England Watercolor Painters" shown at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1974, and the St. Louis Art Museum, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center in Williamsburg, Virginia and the Currier Gallery of Art in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1975. More recent important exhibitions of American folk art, while not focusing especially on Joseph H. Davis, have also included his work. Only a few of Davis' paintings are signed. The inscription on the portrait of Bartholomew Van Dame:"JOSEPH H. DAVIS/LEFT HAND/PAINTER/ Bartholomew Van Dame. Painted at Bow Pond. June 27th 1836" indicates that the artist was left-handed. These signed paintings have permitted attribution of approximately 150 portraits to Joseph H. Davis; his style is so distinctive that the unsigned works can readily be recognized as being from the same hand as the signed ones. Most of his paintings depict a single standing figure which, as would be expected from a left-handed artist, faces toward the right. In those instances where husband and wife are presented, the man is usually on the left and the woman on the right, facing each other, with a strongly grained table between. Figures are shown in profile, with the body turned slightly to allow better visualization of the clothing. A strongly patterned, brightly colored rug with geometric figures is generally present. In addition, eye-catching incidentals such as pen and ink, newspapers, letters, baskets of fruit, wall hangings, books, animals, flower arrangements and hats are often included. Finally, in a great many of the paintings, a fine calligraphy inscription giving the name of the subject, age, date and place of execution is present along the lower border. The first published speculation on the specific identity of Joseph H. Davis was by Frank 0. Spinney who,in 1943, suggested he was Joseph Hilliard Davis of Farmington, New Hampshire; or the

Asa and Theodosha Chaney;1833; Watercolor and pencil on paper; 11/ 1 4x 95/8"; Inscription: "Asa Chaney aged 29, 1833. Theodosha Chaney aged 28, 1832:'


Joseph H. Davis of Dover. In 1950, however, Spinney proposed what he felt was a better candidate, Pine Hill Joe Davis of Newfield, Maine? G.E. Hall, of Portland, Maine, in a 1959 letter to a Mr. and Mrs. Sears of the same city, stated that he or she had done "some research on the forgotten artist, J.H. Davis, and found that he was of Limington73 In the August 16,1959 issue of the Portland, Maine,Sunday Telegram, Esther Wood, Professor of History at Gorham College, reported that the artist was a "native of Limington though at various times he used the address of Vassalboro, Maine, and Wilmington, Massachusetts7 Esther Sparks, in the catalogue for the exhibition "Three New England Watercolor Painters' mentions as possibilities "the voter in Dover in the 1850s, the confectionery of Dover, the landowner in Farmington in the'40s or the Davis in Farmington who bought 26 pounds of nails from Clark and Scruton in the last half of 18447 although her first choice was Pine Hill Joe. Finally, Robert L. Taylor, in his publication on early families of Limington: includes Joseph H. Davis, the "noted left-hand artist!' Was Joseph H. Davis of Limington the painter? Was it the Joseph H. Davis of Newfield? None of those who suggested one or the other presented any real evidence to support either possibility. Was he from Farmington, Dover or elsewhere? In order to resolve this problem, two parallel lines of research were conducted by the authors of this article. The first investigation identified those individuals with the name of Joseph H. Davis living in New Hampshire and Maine between 1830 and 1840, known to be the place and period of the artist's activity from his custom of placing inscriptions on many of his paintings. The second involved review of all portraits attributable to Joseph H. Davis. Most of these are included in the exhibition catalogue Three New England Watercolor Painters; the remainder have appeared in books, auction catalogues, exhibitions and advertisements. From these were extracted those paintings which carry an inscription in the artist's own hand on the front of the paper and only those which include the date of execution and 46

Joseph and Sarah Ann Libby Emery; 1934; Watercolor and pencil on paper;14 x 14"; Inscription: "Joseph Emery. AGED, 25 I & 2 months. I 1834 I Sarah Ann Emery. AGED 20 YEARS. I 1834"; Collection ofthe New York State Historical Association.

name of the subject. Ofthis group, only those were finally considered if the town of residence was included in the inscription on the painting or if this could be established by genealogic investigation. The final result was a total of approximately 85 portraits, from which Joseph H. Davis' whereabouts during his years as an itinerant limner could be determined. Although the name Davis was extremely common in New England (the fifth most common name in 17906), the task ofidentification was made simpler by the fact that the name, "Joseph H. Davis" was an uncommon one during the period under

investigation. A study of census indices and vital records of Maine and New Hampshire, the states where the artist was known to be active, disclosed only those previously mentioned individuals of Farmington, New Hampshire and Limington, Maine. By correlating the facts obtained from these two lines of study, the authors have reached what they believe is the true identity of Joseph H. Davis, the American folk artist. A preliminary identity was a Joseph Hilliard Davis born in Farmington, New Hampshire on January 24, 1820 to James and Rachel Hilliard Davis? The Clarion

Uml Working in favor of this identity is the fact that Farmington is only about ten miles from Lebanon, Maine, home of Sally Rogers Chamberlin, and approximately 18 miles from Dover, New Hampshire, home of Sarah Ann Guppy, both of whose portraits were painted by Joseph H. Davis in 1832. Going against this theory is the problem that Joseph Hilliard Davis was only 12 years old in 1832 when these earliest paintings were done. Although it is possible that Joseph Hilliard Davis was unusually gifted, it is unlikely this young boy was the artist in question. A review of the

Strafford County Register of Deeds for the period 1818 to 1850 disclosed a deed dated January 24, 1847 for the purchase of land by Joseph H. Davis of Farmington, "a country trader;' from Ebenezer Ransom. It is likely that this was Joseph Hilliard and that he was also the same Davis of Dover and Farmington referred to by Esther Sparks and Frank 0. Spinney. More significantly, the authors have been unable to relate this Davis to any of the subjects of the portraits. In contrast, the Joseph H. Davis of Limington, born August 10, 1811 to



MAINE Raymond•

•Limington •Limerick •Newfield Brookfield• Saco•



Banistead• Rochester•

•Berwick Strafford•Somersworth• Dover• Northwood• Durham • Deerfield• Epping•

Summer 1989

Joseph and Phebe Small Davis' who were married there November 27, 18089, was 21 years of age when the first portraits were painted in 1832. His paternal grandfather, John, may have been married to Molly Harper!' and his maternal great-grandfather, Samuel, was married to Dorothy Hubbard;" his middle initial may,therefore, have been for Harper or Hubbard. He lived in Limington on his father's farm in that section known as Pine Hill. That he was living in Limington in 1821 is learned from the inclusion of his name, along with those of his parents and siblings, in a list of people then residing in the town's fourth school district!' The Maine 1830 Index to the Census records him as still living in Limingtoni,3 about 20 miles from Lebanon, Maine, where the 1832 portrait of Sally Rogers Chamberlin' was painted. Dover, New Hampshire, where the portrait of Sarah Ann Guppy" was done that same year, is just 10 miles from Lebanon. Sarah Ann's mother was Hannah Dame Guppy of Maine; an interesting possibility is that she may have been related to Bartholomew Van Dame who was an important link between the painter and many of his subjects. In 1832, when Joseph H. Davis painted his first portraits, this Davis was of an appropriate age and lived close enough to the subjects to support the hypothesis that he was the painter. In his conversations with residents of Newfield, a town only about eight miles from Limington, Frank 0. Spinney learned of a Pine Hill Joe Davis who was remembered as a farmer inclined to suddenly leave the farm to go wandering from town to town "painting pictures of people on little sheets of paper!' Spinney refers to the artist as Pine Hill Joe of Newfield rather than of Limington. However, as he states, the identification of Pine Hill Joe of Newfield was based on tradition and legend handed down through several generations. There is nothing to support the contention that Joseph H. Davis lived in Newfield in the 1830s. What was learned is that the Davis of Limington did establish residence in Newfield in 1844 and it was this which undoubtedly led to the error in the legend. The tradition, as reported by 47

Spinney, is that"when spring came and it was planting time, [Pine Hill Joe Davis of Newfield] suddenly took a notion to go wandering ... because he had an itch to draw pictures:'In fact this was actually Pine Hill Joe Davis of Limington, who might have continued to carry the name of Pine Hill Joe when he lived in Newfield. This, plus the intervening years, would explain the confusion. The next year, following the 1832 portraits of Sally Rogers Chamberlin in Lebanon and Sarah Ann Guppy in Dover, Davis painted those of Gideon Varney' and Sarah Elizabeth Varney' who probably lived in the Dover area of New Hampshire or the Berwick area of Maine (just five miles from Dover); Rebekah's and Lucy Cottle!' and Achsah Stanton' of Lebanon; Maria Jane Cram?' probably of Limerick, Maine, five miles from Limington; and Sally Jenkins'and Hannah Roberts and Lewis Tebbets23 of Berwick. Also in that year he painted the portraits of Asa and Theodosia Chaney" and the Willey2,5Pender26 and Randall'families of Somersworth, New Hampshire, which is a few miles from Dover. Asa Chaney, born in Wells, Maine but a resident of Somersworth when his portrait was painted, was related to Reuben Chaney, born in Wells but later a resident of Limington. Reuben may have been a link between Joseph H. Davis of Limington and Asa Chaney and other subjects in Somersworth. It appears that in 1833 Davis spent a good deal of time painting in the DoverSomersworth area of New Hampshire and the Lebanon-Berwick area of Maine. A most important painting in establishing the artist as Joseph H. Davis of Limington is his 1834 double portrait of Ira and Fanny Libby?'Born in Berwick in 1788, Ira Libby, married Fanny Langdon of Lebanon and was a deacon in the Freewill Baptist Church of North Berwick. The father and uncle of Joseph H. Davis of Limington were both active in the nearby Freewill Baptist Church of Limington29• 30; another member of the family, Ezra Davis Jr., was one of the first three deacons of the church'A common church interest was probably a significant link between 48

Joseph H. Davis of Limington and many of his subjects in Maine and New Hampshire. The fact that the Freewill Baptist newspaper, Morning Star, was published at Limerick (five miles from Limington) from 1826 to 1833, and after that in Dover, may explain the artist's greater activity in the former

area before 1834 and in the latter area after 1833. Numerous marital connections between the Libbys, the Smalls and Joseph H. Davis of Limington help to establish the town as the artist's residence at this time. This Davis' maternal great-grandmother was Elizabeth Libby




Mary D. Varney;1835;Watercolor andpencilon paper;117/8x93/8";Inscription: "Mary D. Varney.Born Decembr 20' 1814. Painted at the age of 21, 1835% Collection of the New York State Historical Association.

The Clarion

2";Inscription: "John L. 1 John L.and Nancy Crockett;1836; Watercolor and pencil on paper;10 x 14/ Crockett, Aged 34. July 9th 1836. Nancy Crockett. Aged 33. Hoven!'25th 1836';Collection ofHirschl & Adler Folk.

Plummer!' His mother's sister, Martha Small, was married to Philomon Libby who received 100 acres of land in Limington from Samuel Small, greatgrandfather of the painter!' Philomon Libby's son of the same name, following his marriage in 1798, settled in that part of Limington known as Pine Hill," the same area in which Joseph H. Davis lived. The latter's cousin, Samuel, the son of James Small, brother of Davis' mother, married Mary Libby;" and a witness to the will of Joseph H. Davis' grandfather, Benjamin Small, was Abner Libby!' Finally, his great aunt, Sarah Small, married Timothy Waterhouse, son of Joseph and Mary Libby Waterhouse!' In 1834, at or near Limington, Davis painted the double portrait of Joseph and Sarah Ann Libby Emery. The latter was the daughter of Ira and Fanny Libby!' Joseph Emery, born in Limington, July 4, 1808," was only three years older than Joseph H. Davis and Summer 1989

the two may very well have been boyhood friends. Also in 1834, Davis executed the portraits of Lucinda Brown in Raymond, Maine (about 20 miles northeast of Limington), and of Oliver and Louise Fernald of North Berwick:" In 1838, S.P. Fernald, probably a relative of Oliver Fernald, became pastor of the Freewill Baptist Church in Northwood, New Hampshire,' a town in which Joseph H. Davis was active in 1836. The portraits of James and Hannah Butler" and Daniel and Betsy Otis of Great Falls (Somersworth)" were also painted in 1834. During this year, Davis' activity appeared to have been divided between Maine and New Hampshire. In 1835, the only portrait he did in Maine was of Daniel Horn of Lebanoe New Hampshire portraits painted that year included those of the Hayes family"'of Strafford, about 10 miles west of Dover. Joseph Hayes' wife, Lois, was

the daughter of Paul and Elizabeth Davis Demeritt, raising the possibility that she may have been related to the artist. Of significance is the fact that Joseph Hayes' father, Wentworth, was active in the Freewill Baptist Church" Also painted in this same area were the portraits of Sarah C. Hayes", Mary D. Varney' and James Locke Moving about 10 miles north of Strafford to Farmington, he did the portraits of Franklin Kimball!' Charles B. Roberts!' Henry L. Roberts5,5 John L. Pinkhamr Jeremiah Jones" and the Furber sisters!' At Brookfield, New Hampshire, about 11 miles north of Farmington, he painted the portraits of Trueworthy5,7 Adaline58 and William B. Chamberlin!' Again reflecting the frequent involvement of the subjects of Joseph H. Davis with the Freewill Baptist Church is the death notice "Chamberlin, Capt. William B. d 26 Mar 1842 at Brookfield, ae 29y" which appeared in the Morning Star, the church newspaper. In 1836, Joseph H. Davis painted his small portraits exclusively in New Hampshire. About 15 miles west of Dover, at Deerfield, he did the double portrait ofPage and Betsey Batchelder' and of Samuel and Sarah Woodman He painted the double portraits of John and Nancy Crockett 2 John and Mary Ann Nealley 5 and Thomas and Sally Demeritt" in Northwood, about six miles northeast of Deerfield. John Crockett was deacon of the Calvin Baptist Church and Daniel Crockett of Limington was a member of the Freewill Baptist Church of Buxton, Maine Following the death of John Nealley's sister, Mary Ann, his friend, Bartholomew Van Dame, an active member of the Freewill Baptist Church, wrote a memorial poem!'' The portrait of Benjamin E Winkley" was painted in Barnstead, about 11 miles northwest of Deerfield. Strafford or adjacent Barrington were the settings for the portraits of Abigail Hall 8 Samuel Mitchell Demeritt", John F. Demeritt째 members ,5 of the Caverly," Hill 2 Knowles7 Montgomery7,4 Place 5 Tasker7,6 Taylor" Foss 8 and Tittle" families and, the most important, Bartholomew Van Dame Azariah Caverly was a member of the Freewill Baptist Church, as 49

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The Tilton Family; 1837; Watercolor and pencil on paper;10x 151/16";Inscription: "John T. Tilton. Aged 33.Decent'2°.1836.Isabell A. Tilton. Aged)Year. & 7-/months June 13'11837.1 Hannah B. Tilton. Aged 32 Marchlr 1837:'; Collectinn ofAbby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center.

indicated by the publishing of his death notice in the Morning Star.' John Caverly was ordained in 1827 and afterward had charge of the Church at Bow Lake, Strafford:" it can be assumed that he was a minister of the Freewill Baptist Church since the death notice of both his father, John, and his brother, Azariah, was published in the Morning Star and his mother's brother, Joseph Boodey, of Strafford was a minister of the Freewill Baptist Church. Levi B. Tasker was also a minister of the Freewill Baptist Church!' Bartholomew Van Dame was a frequent contributor to the Morning Star and an itinerant school teacher, preacher and reformer who visited many of the New England towns where Joseph H. Davis was active. Van Dame's diaries indicate 50

his friendship with members of the Caverly, Nealley and York families:" he probably was an important link between the artist and many of his subjects. Judging from his dated portraits, 1837 was the last year of Davis' painting activity and he again worked only in New Hampshire. These portraits include the Haleys" in Epping, about 11 miles from Deerfield, the Averysr and Tiltons" in Deerfield, the Cheswells8 ,8 Hannah Monroe8 ,9 Thompsons" and Yorks' in Durham,(about three miles from Dover), the Dockums" and Gliddens' in Dover, Laurana Little' in Hampstead, (about 15 miles south of Epping), and possibly Andrew Wiggins" in Sandwich, New Hampshire, 40 miles west of Limington. The por-

trait of Thomas York significantly depicts him reading the Morning Star. After reviewing the known portraits by Joseph H. Davis, certain questions come to mind: Did he have any occupation other than painter prior to 1838? Why did his artistic activity suddenly cease after 1837? And, if it was not death that was responsible, what happened to him after he stopped painting? Since his father was a farmer as well as a land owner in Limingtonr it is likely that the son also worked on the family farm, at least before 1835. Prior to that time his output of portraits was small and we may speculate that these were painted during his occasional trips away from the farm, as described by Spinney. Joseph H. Davis' greatest activity was from 1835 through 1837. The Clarion


Summer 1989

of Newfield!" A final deed giving Newfield as his residence is dated August 7, 1847!" He moved back to Saco after that, for there is the record of the purchase ofland by Joseph H. Davis of that city on December 2, 1847"° Interestingly, a deed recorded eight days later dealing with his sale of a parcel of land in Cambridge, while giving Saco as his address, describes his occupation as "manufacturer"!" Davis moved next to Morristown, New Jersey, his place of residence on a deed ofJune 30,1848 indicating his purchase of land there!' Many deeds filed between 1848 and 1855 testify to Davis' continued activity as a resident land trader in Morristown. While Davis never resumed painting, his years in New Jersey were by no means limited to land trading. The April 7, 1853 issue of the Morristown newspaper, The Jerseyman, reports that "The Democracy of this Township had a meeting ... and nominated ... Assessor — Joseph H.Davis!'It went on to state that, "The Ticket formed will of course be elected, as the probabilities are that there will be no organized opposition to it:' The Democratic party

Photo: Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago

This increased productivity may have been due to the growing responsibility that marriage placed upon the young man: On November 5, 1835 he married Elizabeth Patterson, the marriage record indicating that they were both of 98 Saco?'She was born October 25, 1795, making her 16 years older than her husband; at the time of their marriage he was 24 years of age and she 40. Five days after their wedding, on November 10, 1835, "Joseph H. Davis of Saco, gentleman" was involved in a land transaction" and on November 13, 1835 there was recorded the sale of a parcel of land in Vassalboro, Maine owned by Joseph and Elizabeth Davis of Saco to Ezekial Small" a former resident of Limington. These deeds, in addition to the marriage record, indicate that by November 1835 the Davises had moved to Saco. Joseph H. Davis suddenly stopped painting after 1837, for reasons not known. The birth of his daughter, Elizabeth Ann, in 1838 or 1839 may have been a factor!°' Equally puzzling is the absence of records of any type indicating the nature of his activity during these years. In February 1840, there is evidence of the resumption of Davis' activity as a land trader in the transfer of a parcel in Vassalboro from his father to him; at that time his residence is given as Vassalboro!" One month later he sold a parcel of land in the same town and in the deed for that transaction' his occupation is given as "trader." Some time during the following year he moved to Wilmington, Massachusetts: Deeds dated March 31, 1841 record the purchase of land by Joseph H. Davis of that city'°4 and his sale of land to Phillips Academy!' By December 10, 1844 he had moved to Newfield. A deed of that date, which gives his occupation as "yeoman!' records his purchase of land there, with Newfield as his residence!" Many deeds in 1845, 1846 and the first part of 1847 testify to the fact that Davis continued to live in Newfield during this period!" The fact that he was also employed in another capacity is indicated by a newspaper announcement of January 13, 1847 signed by Joseph H. Davis as treasurer of the Mount Eagle Manufacturing Company

Charlotte D.Cheswell; 1837; Watercolor and 4"; Inscription: 1 pencil on paper; MI6 x 8/ "Charlotte D.Cheswell. Her Birth Day.Aged15. June 19'18377;Private collection.

in 1853 was the dominant one in Morristown"3 and it can be assumed that he did win election to the post of assessor. Another significant item, this in the December 15, 1853 issue of The Jerseyman, is a notice which states, "The subscriber respectively tenders his thanks to the citizens and Fire Companies of Morristown, whose timely and united exertions saved his Paint Mills from total destruction by Fire on the 1st. inst:' The notice is signed "Jos.H.Davis, Agent!' so that although he may have owned the factory, it is also possible that he was only an employee. Still another type of activity while in New Jersey was his work as an inventor. On August 8, 1854, Joseph H. Davis received patent number 11,476 for his invention of"new and useful improvements in forming the ores of iron into paint by a direct process and of different colors!' A deed filed in May 1855 indicates that Davis and his wife were still in Morristown:" but by September of that year they had moved again,for a deed at that time gives Woburn, Massachusetts as his place of residence and his occupation as "gentleman"!" The family continued to live there and in November 1858 evidence appeared of his continuing activity as an inventor. Joseph H. Davis of Woburn received patent number 22,003 on an arrangement "for transmitting power from any prime motor to a propelling gear or wheel!' The United States Census of 1860 gives Woburn as his town of residence and his occupation as "inventot" On July 31, 1860 Davis received patent number 29,364 on "certain new and useful improvements in chimney flues and radiators for warming apartments!' The final recorded reference to events in the life of Joseph H. Davis is the listing of his death at Woburn in that town's vital records:"Davis,Joseph H., s. of Joseph and Phebe (b. in Limington, Me.), of disease of liver. May 28, 1865; 53 y. 9m. 18 d."7 He is buried, along with his wife, daughter, father-in-law and mother-in-law, in lot number 305, Cypress Path, Laurel Hill Cemetery, Saco. This review of the life and work of Joseph H. Davis of Limington, Maine 51


presents strong evidence to support the conclusion that he was the painter of the water color portraits attributed to "Joseph H. Davis/left hand painter." During the period when these portraits were executed, he lived in towns from which he could readily reach the relatively small area in which the subjects resided. Marital connections between him and many of the subjects, the fact that he was a neighbor of some, and his connection to many others through Bartholomew Van Dame and through the Freewill Baptist Church all lend support to this hypothesis. His increased activity as a painter from 1835 through 1837 may be explained by his marriage in 1835, and the sudden cessation of his work as an itinerant limner by the arrival of a baby and the resultant necessity not only of staying closer to home but also of increasing his income to support his larger family. A study of recorded deeds reveals that he adopted the role of land trader, following the example of his father, in place of that of portrait painter. Finally, it might be argued that his later activity as an inventor would â&#x20AC;&#x201D; as in the case of Leonardo da Vinci and such nineteenth century portrait painters as Rufus Porter, Samuel E B. Morse and George Freeman â&#x20AC;&#x201D; indeed be in keeping with his earlier creative activity as an artist. Arthur and Sybil Kern are collectors,researchers, lecturers and writers in the field of early American folk art. Among their previous publications are articles in The Clarion on Jane Anthony Davis, William M. S. Doyle, Benjamin Greenleaf, William Murray, Royall Brewster Smith and Thomas Ware. Other studies include those on Almira Edson, Joseph Stone and Warren Nixon, and Joseph Partridge. The authors wish to thank Robert L. Taylor for his valued assistance in the gathering of biographical material concerning Joseph H. Davis. NOTES I. Frank 0. Spinney, "Joseph H. Davis: New Hampshire Artist of the 1830's' The Magazine Antiques, October 1943, pp. 177-180. 2. Frank 0. Spinney, Primitive Painters in America 1750-1950, An Anthology by Jean Lipman and Alice Winchester, Books For Libraries Press, New York, 1950, p. 97. 3. Letter from G. H. Hall of 64 Promenade Street, Portland, Maine to Mr. and Mrs. Sears, dated September 6, 1959. 4. Gail and Norbert H. Savage and Esther Sparks, Three New England Watercolor Painters, The Art


Institute of Chicago, 1974, p. 22. 5. Robert L. Taylor, Early Families of Limington, Maine, Private printing, Limington, 1984, pp. 95, 96. 6. Walter G. Davis, The Ancestry of Nicholas Davis 1753-1832 ofLimington, Maine, The Anthoensen Press, Portland, Maine, 1956, p. 1. 7. New Hampshire Vital Statistics, State Archives, Concord, New Hampshire. 8. A birth record for Joseph H. Davis has not been found. However, his death record gives the date of death as May 28, 1865 at 53 years 9 months and 18 days, indicating a birth date of August 10, 1811. 9. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. LXXXVII. April, 1933, p. 126. 10. Taylor, Early Families ofLimington, p. 95. 11. Lora A. W. Underhill, Descendants of Edward Small of New England, Riverside Press, Cambridge, 1910, Vol. I, p. 147. 12. This record is in the collection of the Maine Historical Society, Portland. The listing is "Joseph Davis and Wife/Emeline Davis Joseph Davis 3d/ Anna Davis John Nelson Davis/Richard Lewis Davis'? Since we know that Emeline was his older sister and Anna, John Nelson and Richard Lewis his younger siblings, there is no question but that Joseph Davis 3d was Joseph H.Davis.In the Joseph Davis family bible, now owned by a descendant, Joseph H. is also recorded as Joseph 3d, again to probably indicate that he was the third Joseph in the family living at the time (the other was the son of Robert). The fact that Joseph 3d was actually Joseph H. is confirmed by the death record of the latter which indicates that he was born in Limington to Joseph and Phebe Davis. 13. In the census he is listed as Joseph Davis Jr., undoubtedly the result of the census taker's assigning the Jr. designation to a son with the same given name as his father. 14. George W. Chamberlain, Vital Records of Lebanon, Maine to the Year 1892, Maine Historical Society, 1922-23, Vol. I, p. 135 records that Sally Rogers was born December 6, 1767, Vol. II, p. 180 that she married Amos Chamberlin January 1, 1788 and Vol. III, p. 19 that she died in Lebanon in 1858. 15. John Scales, Colonial Era History of Dover, New Hampshire, Heritage Books, Inc., 1977, p. 289, 295. Sarah Ann was born April 5,1812in Dover to John and Hannah Dame Guppy. On July 5, 1838 she married Samuel H. Henderson of Dover. 16. Nothing specific has been learned concerning Gideon Varney. However, the census and other records for Maine and New Hampshire indicate that a great many Varneys lived in Berwick, Maine and the Dover-Somersworth area of New Hampshire. 17. The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. 20, p. 319, as cited in Three New England Watercolor Painters, reports that Sarah Elizabeth was born February 2, 1831 to William and Hannah Clark Varney. However, the daughter of these Varneys was Elizabeth, not Sarah Elizabeth. An early owner of this portrait was a Mrs. Henderson and she may have been a descendant of Sarah Ann Guppy Henderson of Dover. 18. Chamberlain, Vital Records of Lebanon, Maine, Vol. I, p. 40 lists the baptism of Beky, daughter of Edmund and Comfort Cowell, on October 11, 1801 and Vol. II, p. 42 her marriage on September 15, 1823 to John Cottle Jr. 19. The painting is inscribed "Lucy Cottle. Aged 8 years. 18337 The subject is probably the daughter of John and Rebekah Cottle, who were married in 1823. 20. Chamberlain, Vital Records of Lebanon, Maine, Vol. I, p. 147 and Vol. HI, p. 129. Achsah, the daughter of James and Sabra Stanton, was born September 27, 1814 and died August 2, 1836.

21. Robert L. Taylor, Early Families of Limerick Maine, Private printing, 1984, p. 22. Maria A. Adams and Jacob Cram, both of Limerick, were married September 3, 1815 and both died in Limerick. Maria may have been related to John A. Adams, whose portrait was painted by Davis in 1834, and she was probably the mother or aunt of Maria Jane Cram, subject of this portrait. 22. This painting is inscribed "Sally Jenkins, Born Septr 3d 1776. Marrieddany 31st 1805. Painted at Berwick, August 19, 1833./In her 57th Year of her age.(J.H. Davis painter):' 23. Wilber D. Spencer, Burial Inscriptions and Other Data ofBurials in Berwick, York County, Maine to the Year 1922, Sanford, Maine, 1922 records the death of Hannah, wife of Rev. Tebbetts, March 17, 1879 and of Rev. Tebbetts March 12, 1885. 24. Charles H. Pope, The Cheney Genealogy, Published by Charles H. Pope, Boston, 1897, p. 355. Asa Cheney was born in Wells, Maine and married Theodosia Hilton there in 1826. He was a resident of Somersworth, New Hampshire until 1834. 25. New Hampshire Genealogical Record, Vol. VI, No. 1. January 1909, p. 34. Daniel Willey and Mary Clark, both of Dover, were married December 19, 1824.In 1830,according to the census, he was living in adjacent Somersworth. 26. The inscription on this portrait records that it was painted in Great Falls, Somersworth. 27. New Hampshire Genealogical Record, Vol. VI, No. 1, January 1909, p. 36 records the marriage on October 1, 1827 of Daniel Randall, Jun., of Somersworth, to Judith Nason of Dover. 28. Charles T. Libby, The Libby Family in America 1602-1881, B. Thurston & Co., Portland, Maine, 1882, p. 203. Ira Libby lived his entire life on his father's homestead in Berwick. The painting's inscription indicates that it was done at Beach Ridge, presumably a section of Berwick. 29. The obituary of Joseph Davis, father of the artist, reports that he died at 89 years of age and that he "was the oldest member of the Free Church:' 30. Maine Gazetteer, p. 405 reports that John and Sarah Davis were among the members of the Freewill Church of Limington. 31. G. T. Ridlon, Sr., Saco Family Settlements and Families, Published by author, Portland, 1895, p. 234. 32. Underhill, Descendants of Edward Small of New England, p. 150 33. Ibid, p. 152. 34. Libby, The Libby Family in America, p. 122. 35. Underhill, Descendants of Edward Small of New England, p. 153-155. 36. Ibid. p. 151. 37. Ibid. p, 152. 38. Rufus Emery, Genealogical Records of Descendants of John and Anthony Emery of Newbury, Mass. 1590-1890, Salem, 1890, p. 434. 39. Taylor, Early Families of Limington, Maine, p. 119. 40. Three New England Water Color Painters, p. 57 reports that Lucinda was the wife ofEllison Brown. The Maine 1830 census shows Ellison Brown living at Raymond. Maine. 41. The name of Oliver Fernald appears in the September 14, 1832 issue ofthe Kennebunk Gazette on a list of those with letters at the N. Berwick post office. The Maine 1840 census places an Oliver Fernald in N. Berwick and Vital Records of Lebanon, Vol. III, p. 40 records his death in North Berwick on March 30, 1883. 42. Elliott C. Cogswell, History ofNottingham, Deerfield, and Northwood. Printed by John Clark, Manchester, 1878, p. 557. 43. George H. Butler, Thomas Butler and His Descendants, Trow's Printing and Bookbinding Co., New York, 1886, p. 108. James Butler was born in Berwick January 17, 1783 and married Hannah

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Grant in 1804. Vital records of Lebanon, Vol. Ill, p. 15 records his death at Berwick January 8, 1856. 44. William A. Otis, A Genalogical and Historical Memoir of the Otis Family in America, Chicago, 1924,P. 182. Daniel Otis married Betsey Jaffrey in 1810 and they settled in Great Falls. 45. Vital Records ofLebanon, Vol. I, p. 87, Vol. II, p. 106 and Vol. III, p. 71 record the birth in Lebanon of Daniel Wentworth to Elijah and Anna Horne on May 29, 1809, his marriage to Sarah A. Dore in 1829 and his death in 1876. 46. Katherine E Richmond,John Hayes ofDover, New Hampshire, Tyngsboro, Mass. 1936,pp. 200, 201. Joseph Hayes was born August 1, 1783 in a part of Barrington, now Strafford. His children were all born in Strafford, including the last two born in 1832 and 1835. 47. Ibid, p. 199. 48. Ibid, p. 291. Sarah Clough Guy of Wheelock, Vermont married John Hayes in Dover May 11, 1820. He died in 1829 and she married Elijah Austin August 6, 1835, in Rochester. Since the inscription on the painting refers to her as Sarah C. Hayes we can assume that the portrait was done before her second marriage. 49. The New Hampshire Genealogical Record, Vol. VI, No. 1, January 1909, reports that her parents were married at Rochester. 50. Arthur H. Locke, A History and Genealogy of Captain John Locke, The Rumford Press, Concord, N. H., 1917, p. 102. James Locke, born August 8, 1811, probably in Barnstead, in 1836 married Ellen C. Kimball. In 1835 he was living in Barnstead or Rochester. 51. Leonard A. Morrison and Stephen P. Sharpies, History ofthe Kimball Family in America, Damrell & Upham,Boston, 1897, p. 427. Benjamin Franklin Kimball, brother of Ellen Kimball who married James Locke, was born in Farmington October 5, 1814. He would have been 24 years ofage when the portrait was done, which is what the inscription on the painting of "Franklin" Kimball indicates. 52. Spinney, cited in Three New England Watercolor Painters, p. 32 reports that the "Constitution and Records of the Farmington (N.H.) Washingtonian Temperance Society" indicates that Charles B. Roberts was one of the society founders. 53. Ibid, p. 62. Henry Laurens Roberts, brother of Charles B. Roberts, was born, lived and died in Farmington. 54. Charles N. Sinnett, Richard Pinkham of Old Dover, Rumford Printing Co., Concord, N.H., 1908, p. 253. John Langdon Pinldiam was born August 16, 1813 in New Durham, New Hampshire, about four miles from Farmington. The 1840 census shows him in Dover, but in 1835 he was probably still living in the Farmington area. 55. D. Hamilton Hurd, History of Rockingham and Strafford Counties, New Hampshire, J. W.Lewis & Co., Philadelphia, 1882, p. 639. Jeremiah Jones, father of the subject, was born in Farmington, December 3, 1791, married Tamson Roberts in 1827 and died at Farmington in 1871. 56. Frank 0. Spinney, "The Method of Joseph H. Davis:' The Magazine Antiques, August 1944, p. 73. Reports that the Furber girls are "of either Rochester or the neighboring town of Farmington': 57. The painting is inscribed "Painted by Joseph H. Davis/Trueworthy Chamberlin Esq and Wife/ Painted at Brookfield May 1835:' 58. The painting is inscribed "Adaline Chamberlin. Painted at Brookfield, Maine/1835:' Chamberlins lived at Brookfield and at Lebanon, many moving from one town to the other as did Adaline whose portrait was painted in Brookfield but who died in Lebanon. 59. Death notice of William B. Chamberlin was published in the April 27, 1842 issue of the Morning Star.

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60. Locke, A History and Genealogy of Captain John Locke, P. 215. Page Bachelder, who was related to James Locke, was born in Deerfield in 1788 and lived and worked there as a fanner until his death in 1879. 61. Cogswell, History ofNottingham. Deerfield, and Northwood, p. 507. 62. Ibid, p. 677. 63. Ibid, p. 762. 64. The inscription on the painting includes "Painted October 12th 1836. Northwood, N.H:' 65. Taylor, Early Families ofLimington, p. 88. 66. Three New England Watercolor Painters, p. 63. 67. The 1830 and 1840 New Hampshire census show a Benjamin Winkley residing in Barnstead. 68. Abigail S. Hall was born in Strafford May 8, 1812 to Samuel and Betsey Stiles Hall. 69. Spinney, Joseph H. Davis, New Hampshire Artist of the 1830's, p. 179, 180. Samuel M. Demerit, brother of John E Demerit, was born in Barrington (Strafford), where he was a school teacher. 70. Three New England Watercolor Painters, p. 28. Gravestones of Barrington, New Hampshire, Barrington, N.H. Historical Society, 1976, p. 52. 71. According to the inscription this was "Painted at Strafford/Bow Pond/August 9th/1836:' 72. The inscription includes "Painted at Bow Pond Strafford May 19th 1836:' 73. Spinney, Joseph H. Davis, New Hampshire Artist ofthe 1830's, p. 179. David C. Knowles sold his 40 acre farm in Strafford in 1838. 74. Inscription on double portrait of John and Abigail Montgomery includes "PAINTED AT â&#x20AC;&#x201D; / STRAFFORD RIDGE, MAY 22, 1835:' Tamson and Mercy,also subjects, are believed to have been their daughters. 75. Inscription includes "PAINTED AT STRAFFORD/RIDGE, MARCH 3, 1836!' 76. The inscription on the portrait of Levi B. Tasker includes "Painted/AT STRAFFORD/RIDGE. MARCH 20th, 1836:' His wife, Hannah, and son, Charles M., presumably are the other subjects. 77. Inscription includes "Painted at Strafford, N.H. 1836:' 78. The double portraits of Sylvanus and Mary Jane Foss and of William and Polly Foss and the single portrait of Richard B. Foss all carry inscriptions indicating that they were painted at Strafford in 1836. The single portraits of Cotton H. and Harriet T. Foss were presumably painted in the same town. 79. Inscription on the double portrait of James and Sarah Thule includes "Painted at Strafford/Jany 25th, 1836:' Single portraits of their children, Betsy and Esther, were also painted in January 1836. 80. Inscription "JOSEPH H. DAVIS/LEFT HAND PAINTER/Bartholomew Van Dame. Painted at Bow Pond. June 27th 1836:' 81. David C. Young and Robert L. Taylor, Death Notices From Freewill Baptist Publications 1811-1851, Heritage Books, Inc., 1985, p. 60. 82. Genealogy of the Caverly Family, Lowell, Mass. George M. Elliott, Publisher, 1880., pp. 80, 81. 83. Cogswell, History ofNottingham, Deerfield, and Northwood, p. 777. 84. Three New England Watercolor Painters, p. 63. 85. Spinney, Joseph H. Davis, New Hampshire Artist ofthe 1830's, p. 179. Reports that the Haleys lived in Epping, N.H. 86. Jeremiah Avery is recorded at Deerfield in the 1830 and 1840 census. 87. New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Vol. V, No. 1, reports that John T. Tilton of Deerfield married Hannah B. Barstow and that he owned two houses there in 1857. 88. The 1830 census shows Paul Cheswell,the subject of one of the two Cheswell portraits, living in Durham. 89. Everett S. Stackpole and Winthrop S. Meserve,

History of the Town ofDurham, New Hampshire, Vol. II, p. 291. Hannah Monroe, born May 6, 1761, died in Durham Febniary 8, 1851. 90. Three New England Watercolor Painters, p. 62. Thomas Thompson was a minister in Durham and his wife was the daughter of Captain Joseph Thomas Jr., who was possibly from Durham. 91. Stackpole and Meserm History of the Town of Durham, pp. 401, 402. Thomas York of Durham married,as his third wife,Harriet Bartlett, after the death of his second wife in 1827. Children of his second marriage included John and Dorinda Maria and Julia Ann was of his third marriage. 92. These include the single portraits of Sarah, Catherine T. and Emily P. Dockum. Vital Records of Dover, New Hampshire 1686-1850, Heritage Books, 1977, p. 258 lists the December 7, 1840 marriage of Catharine Dockham to James M. York. 93. This is a double portrait of James and Abigail Glidden. The New Hampshire census of 1830 shows him as a resident of Dover. 94. Vital Records, Births, State Archives, Concord, N.H. Laurana Rebecca Little, daughter of Joseph and Rebekah Webster Little was born March 15, 1834 at Hampstead. 95. Andrew J. Wiggins is the subject. The 1830 New Hampshire census shows an Andrew Wiggins living in Sandwich. 96. The records of numerous deeds in York County indicate Joseph Davis' activity as a land trader. 97. Records of the First Church of Biddeford, as cited in the notes of Sybil Noyes. 98. Ridlon, Saco Valley Settlements and Families, p. 1095. Other sources give her age differently. 99. Registry ofDeeds, Kennebec County, Book 95, p. 351. 100. Ibid, Book 95, p. 351. 101. A birth record has not been found for Elizabeth A. Davis. The U.S. Census for Morristown records her age as 12 years when taken on December 20, 1850, indicating that her year of birth was 1838. According to the inscription on her tombstone, Elizabeth Ann Davis died September 9,1863 stage 23 years 11 months;ifcorrect,this would mean she was born in October 1839. 102. Registry of Deeds,York County,Book 167, p. 280. 103. Registry of Deeds,Kennebec County,Book 119, p. 457. 104. Registry of Deeds, Middlesex County, Book 400, p. 492 105. Ibid, Book 400, p. 495. 106. Registry ofDeeds, York County, Book 183, p. 207. 107. Ibid, Book 187, p. 20; Book 180, P. 195; Book 190, p. 79, 80, 269; Book 189, p. 192; Book 192, p. 159; Book 193, p. 167; Book 195, p. 65. 108. Maine Free Will Baptist Repository, January 13, 1847. 109. Registry ofDeeds, York County, Book 197, p. 288. 110. Ibid, Book 198, p. 445. 111. Registry ofDeeds, Middlesex County, Book 520, p. 276. 112. Registry of Deeds, Morris County, Book N 4, p. 316. 113. History of Morris County, New Jersey, W. W. Munsell & Co., New York, 1882, pp. 73, 74. 114. This and his two subsequent patents are recorded in the files of the United States Patent Office, Washington, D.C. 115. Registry of Deeds, Morris County, Book 65, p. 268. This deed conveys two parcels of land from Joseph H. Davis and Elizabeth R, his wife, of the town of Morris, to Joseph Davis, of the town of Woburn, Mass. 116. Registry ofDeeds, Middlesex County, Book 468, p. 717. 117. Edward E Johnson, Woburn Record of Births, Deaths and Marriages, Part II, Woburn, Mass., 1890, p. 51. The same date of death is inscribed in a family bible owned by a descendant.


When Aminah was a little girl, she grew up in Poindexter Village, Columbus, Ohio, and her name was Brenda Lynn Robinson. She was a busy child. Her mother taught her three daughters sewing, needlepoint, spinning, weaving, button work, dollmaking, even soapmaking. Her father made books for his children. "He'd stomp out the paper â&#x20AC;&#x201D; bags, newspapers, all kinds of paper. He'd make us books, make up stories': the artist remembers. Her Uncle Alvin Zimmerman told her stories, too. Most were about the folks who lived in the Blackberry Patch, the small section of Columbus that gave way to the Poindexter Village project, one of the nation's first public housing programs. Robinson was born in 1940. That was the year that President Roosevelt came to see Poindexter and talk to the people. As Brenda Lynn listened with intense fascination to the stories her parents and Uncle Alvin told her, she drew and sewed and carved images of the stories, clearly picturing the people, the houses, the life of the Blackberry Patch, the life of Poindexter Village. "I think of the Blackberry Patch stories and the Poindexter Village stories as the core of my work. I've been documenting them since I'm eight years old': she explains. "I'll never be fmished with Poindexter Village or the Blackberry Patch'? The way Aminah "documents" a subject, the process is a lifetime commitment."I work in layers. I do studies. I can't explain my creative process. I'm thinking about one little area and from

by Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld All Photos.. Courtesy of Carl Solway Gallery.



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that one idea — hundreds and hundreds of works. Justfrom that one idea,I'll do a whole series of cloth pieces. Then, there's my Mud Collection — animals, characters. Then, there's the sketches, my puppets, the sculptures and the books. Oh, you've got to have the books! You've got to have more than bones. You've got to have the meat!" Aminah researches everything that can be known about her "topic' Her curiosity is insatiable. If it's a place, like Poindexter, she lives in libraries, in record rooms of city offices, poring over old maps, deeds to houses,files of streets and street signs, making her own maps on cloth, on paper, on wood, sketching every house, every tree and corner. She wants to know everything! "I need to find out people's names. Who lived in the houses? What were the names of streets? I document. I find out. What happened to the people? What were their stories?" Her RagMud Collection and FolkQuilt Stories are in volumes. There are ten volumes. Each volume goes from A to Z. There are thousands of threads or stories or books that run out of each smaller subsection. The stories are captured on homemade paper, on fabric, leather, clay, wood, in hidden books, in pop-up books, in beaded and buttoned and painted and sculpted books. The books are everywhere: Hanging from shoulder straps, unfurled The artist and her Sapelo Book Form Sculpture, Man and Woman Going to the Market on Marsh Tacky. Begun in 1986 and still incomplete, the figures are mounted atop a large book containing 30smaller books similar to those in the foreground. The sculpture includes rag appliquéd with bead and button work, outside and in, and music boxes;one plays "Our Father" and the other "Jesus Loves Me";21 x 8x 12! Photo: © Barb Schwartz



like flags or banners, folded like purses or packs, rolled like scrolls. Books inside of books, music boxes in books, books sewed to the sleeves of puppets, to the curved wooden body of a mys tical snake,to the arms of a chair that is evolving from a root given to Aminah by her father. "I'm working on a Book Dress': Aminah describes the work in progress: "It's covered with hundreds of books, music boxes and puppets in them, pictures, objects, all sewn to the dress. It's going to be called my 'Poindexter Dress.' It's a wearable book form. I just have to put it on and I'm ready to tell and show the stories!" The Blackberry Patch and Poindexter Village FolkQuilt Stories are only a few volumes in her never-completed ever-expanding — like life itself — collections. In 1979, the Columbus arts community, organized by photographer Kojo Kamau, raised funds to enable Brenda Lynn Robinson to travel to Africa. The trip fused Robinson's African roots with her already strong cultural heritage. She visited Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Senegal. In Egypt, a mysterious incident occurred. The tour guides, a Sheik and his wife, looked at Brenda and told her that her name was Aminah. When she returned home to Columbus, Ohio,she shared her new name with her father who asked her, "Do you know what your grandmother's name is?" "Of course',' Aminah answered, "Pearliel' "Pearl Aminah!" Her father informed her. Aminah later discovered that several of her ancestors were of Arabic origin. Aminah, she learned,

The Teachings; Mixed media(mud, wood, buttons, quilted rag)on tabby base;90½ x 43 x


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means honesty and creativity. Out of her trip she created over 3,000 works of art that comprise her Afrikan Pilgrimage Series: The Extended Family. In 1983, Governor Joe Frank Harris of Georgia invited Aminah to "document" the Hog Hammock Community of Sapelo Island, the home of her father's family until the Emancipation Proclamation led to the migration of some family members to Ohio. It was in Sapelo Island that Aminah found members of her family who still used their Arabic names and remembered their Arabic roots. Aminah's Sapelo Series is dedicated to the people, culture and history of Hog Hammock, Sapelo Island. As always, her works are a way to remember and honor a place, a community, a people. This collection features over 1,000 pieces that defy narrow terms of definition. As with all her works, they are a multifarious assortment of collages, carvings, fabrics, sketches, paintings, puppets, illustrated journals and sculptures. "I work in junle,' Aminah explains. Besides her parents and her Uncle Alvin Zimmerman, the storyteller, one of the major influences on Robinson's life was the acclaimed folk artist, Elijah Pierce. Aminah first met him in 1969 at the Columbus YWCA International Festival; Mr. Pierce was sitting at a table with his wooden carvings for sale. "My son,Sydney, was a year old and had just won the children's art contest: Aminah remembers. "Mr. Pierce had all his little things selling for a dollar or two. Eli picked out a piece for Sydney. He said I had to have this for him. It was a bull scooting a little dog, making it

Above, Book cover for Sapelo Studies;1986;Homemade paper;9x 12!' Below, Points of Interest on Sapelo Island;(made to be included in Sapelo Studies);1986;Homemade paper, rags, buttons;10x

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go. He said,'That's the way you have to push a child — scoot it — make it do!" Several years passed before their next meeting. Aminah returned to Columbus after living in Puerto Rico and going through a divorce. In 1971, Aminah's good friend, Ursel White Lewis, "formally" introduced her to Elijah Pierce. They became very close friends. "He helped me through a hard time I'd draw and he'd carve and talk to me. I had my own ways of working but he influenced my thinking. He brought me back to the realities of tradition. He brought me back to what was important — the way you walk and talk — keeping your mind on the work. He did a carving of me. Mrs. Pierce said,'Come to the studio. Me and the Mr. have something to give you.' He did a portrait of me in a flower garden. I did books on him and paintings for him. I made a book for him,'The Wisdom Of Elijah Pierce.' When I read it to him, he

rags, bags, pouches, shreds, photos, letters, newsclips collect into the materials of a child's paradise. Framed and unframed "Unwritten Love Letters" stack in a pile waiting to be organized for an exhibition. Dolls, puppets, carvings, buckles, amulets, feathers, glitter, felt hearts wait their turns to take their places in Aminah's schemes, Aminah's dreams of keeping the stories, of passing on the stories. And the "junk" isn't random. These are not just any beads and buttons and buckles. Aminah explains,"Every one has a history. They belonged to somebody. Each object I use is hand-picked for a reason. By the grace of God, people leave them on my doorstep. These white mother-of-pearl buttons, very old, belonged to my friend's grandmother — in her nineties. These buckles, very old, left on my doorstep. Sometimes people won't leave their names but I find out. These African spiritual beads belonged to an African Chief and were sent to me by the art critic of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I love buttons and beads. My mother taught us how. She made dolls out of them. I make everything out of them'? In the midst of all this, stands Aminah, calm, peaceful, soft-spoken, graceful as a Piero dello Francesca fresco. How does she keep it all together, this eye in the center of the whirlwinds? "I'm working on fifty different projects. When I come in, I know exactly what to do. I don't select. It's selected for me.If!stop to analyze it, I wouldn't know which way. I've always had this clarity.... Life is full of interruptions. I deal with interruptions. I come back and do my work. My work goes on. I'm


Aminah's cluttered, colorful, lifefilled house is rich with her own paintings and sketches of Elijah Pierce as well as his wood carvings of the animals, people and stories he loved. A walk into Aminah's house is an unforgettable, incomparable experience. It breathes. It talks. It throbs with her creative energies. It's a staggering tumult of her works. There is no empty space. Walls, shelves, floors, doors, closets are layered with pieces of every medium, of mixed media, of every combination. Unfinished and almostfinished and never-to-be-finished works lie, hang, sway, roll, fold and pile. Buttons, beads, threads, hinges, crayons, clothespins, paints, shells,

Above, Study for The Teachings; 1983;Ink and pencil on homemade paper; Approximately 14 x 1t5 Below, Umbrella Man Goin' Door to Door; 1983; Mixed media assemblage;14 x 15 x 25!'


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inspired by too much of life. Curious. Always on the lookout for stuff. Right now I'm looking for sticks. I need sticks for the work.... All of these pieces are my notes. I document life. Our beautiful seasons — our lives are lived in different seasons..." Aminah works all over the house. In every room,in every corner. "Depends on the weather, how I feel.

My characters keep talking, keep calling to me. It's all connected': And what are Aminah's feelings about folk art, and folk life, which infuse so much of her work? Aminah is not a person who lives in narrow definitions or terminology. "Folk art? When I think of folk art I think of my mother and father, my first teachers. What they taught me was our way oflife, it's what we did. My father made books until his death. Until my mother's eyesight went, she worked in beads, buttons and threads... "Folk art has to do with families and communities. It's timeless, it stands still and it continues. It permeates the soul. It's the way people do things that's passed from generation to generation. Maybe it's the way some families celebrate a holiday or give gifts!' Aminah's hands move dramatically emphasizing her ideas."We may call it 'folk art' but it's the thing people do over time, over the years ..." She pauses then looks lovingly at one of Elijah Pierce's woodcarvings. "Now, take Elijah Pierce. He was a barber and a woodcarver. He grew up with wood. He loved wood. No matter what was going on, no matter how things were changing, he never left the wood. His feelings to the wood were the same — never changed': Aminah holds up a long wall hanging of crayons, pencils and ink. The subject, as in many of Aminah's works, is written in clear lively letters: CLEMENTINE HUNTER — FOLK ARTIST — 1887-1988. "Take Clementine Hunter'? Aminah tells the story: "Most of Clementine's life was spent picking cotton at the Melrose Plantation, Louisiana. When

1 2x 50/ 3 4' 1 2x 27/ Elijah Pierce; 1987; Mud, sticks, rag, buttons, music boxes;54/

Summer 1989


she got middle-aged, she moved to the big house and did house chores. The big house was a place where artists came. One day, Clementine found paints left by an artist. "I bet I can make a mark with these paints,' she told the owner of the house.

"Clementine,' the man said, 'take the paints and make your mark.' "She painted all night and next morning came back with a picture of a Baptism on cardboard done in oil paints': Aminah chooses her words as she continues the story of Clementine Hunter. "Clementine documented a way oflife from her memories,a way of life that no longer existed, that was slowly passing away. People told her, 'Clementine, you're gonna be famous!' Clementine stayed at her little cottage, painted every day and got famous. But she got tired of all the attention and finally put up a sign: 25 CENTS A LOOK!" Aminah laughs in the telling. Her imagination is so clear that she feels as if she's sitting with Clementine trying to document memories with an endless line of curious admirers. "They paid their twenty-five cents and looked and came and came. Clementine died last year at 101 years old': Every story needs an ending and Aminah concludes her story with an observation: "I guess you can call folk art a person who says 'I can make a mark!' Me? I call it hand-me-downs!" When Aminah is not at home working, she is at the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, often in schools and community centers sharing her magic with children. She carries, wears, pushes, pulls and unfolds her collections of dolls, puppets, beaded books, symbols, and her RagMud FolkQuilt stories into classrooms, catching the kids in her web of enchantment, her fascination with history, with story, firing their imaginations and inspiring them to create their own original books of illustrated

stories, all beaded, seeded, feathered, carved, and painted. As she talks to the children, she asks them to think about choices. She encourages them to "look back into the future'? She nudges them to free their spirits, their minds. Don't worry about labels, categories or stereotypes. She tells them that when she was a child making her books, her pictures, her images,"I didn't realize this was art. Nobody called it art. They didn't call it anything. It was just passed on. The way it happens': She urges the kids to be open. "Always come to me. I tell them they have very special gifts. No one else has their gifts': She explains, "When they pass through childhood, if no one passes onto them, they may not retain those gifts..." Aminah's resume reads like the Yellow Pages, or an encyclopedia. It would take hours to go through the information describing her more than 20,000 works, her numerous awards, exhibitions, lectures, and programs she has enriched with her amazing presence. "Aminah, how would you describe yourself? What would you call yourself? An artist? An educator? A historian? A storyteller?" Aminah ponders the question, considers the categories and comes up with her own definition of herself. "I'm a person walking': Mimi Brodsky Chenfeld is an author, teacher and educational consultant. Among her books are Teaching Language Arts Creatively and Creative Activitiesfor Young Children published by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. She is actively involved in the arts community in Columbus, Ohio.

Amos Lynch and Columbus Call & Post Newspaper; 1984; Wood, clothes pins, tags, buttons, mud bead work, music boxes;55 x 20x


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SUPPORT FOR EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING AT LINCOLN SQUARE The Museum recently received a grant of $5,000 from the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of New York to assist with the implementation of an educational program designed to teach school children about American folk art utilizing objects in the permanent collection. Children in all five boroughs of New York City will participate in the program which includes presentations in the schools by Museum docents and visits to the Lincoln Square gallery by the students. The program will be expanded through the generosity of an anonymous donor. A gift of$10,000 over five years will allow the Museum to implement an internship program which will be named "The New York City Public School Internship of the Museum of American Folk Art in honor of Myra Summer 1989

.12SS301 aupopil

CAMPAIGN FOR THE EVA AND MORRIS FELD GALLERY AT LINCOLN SQUARE The long-awaited opening of the Museum of American Folk Art/Eva and Morris Feld Gallery at Lincoln Square was heralded with the announcement of three important gifts. The following grants were madejust several days prior to the April opening: $25,000 from the William Randolph Hearst Foundation for the endowment fund and educational programming at Lincoln Square; $15,000 from New York Telephone and $10,000 from the New York State Council on the Arts, both for the branch building fund. After many months offundraising, a gala dinner to celebrate the opening was held on April 10, 1989 for donors to the branch building fund,endowment fund and permanent collection. I would like to thank all of the donors who have made gifts to Lincoln Square since the start of the campaign last spring. The generous support of these friends will ensure the presentation of exhibitions and public programs at the Lincoln Square gallery in the future.

Guests at the gala dinner for benefactors of the new Gallery. Top left: Tomoko Okabe and Tetsuya Chikushi of Asahi Shimbun. Top right: Bonnie Grossman of The Ames Gallery ofAmerican Folk Art, Berkeley. Middle left: Francine Lynch of Chase Manhattan Bank and Tom Markunas. Middle right, clockwise: Benchmates David Barrett, Joseph Rosenberg, Don DeWitt, Didi Barrett, Willa Rosenberg and Marian DeWitt. Bottom left: Willson Powell and Karen Brosius ofPhilip Morris.

and George Shaskan'.' As stipulated by the donor, the Museum will offer an internship each year to a high school student who will be selected based upon an essay about folk art written by him or her. The essays will be written after the students visit the Lincoln Square branch. The intern will be assigned to the Curatorial Department and will organize a mini-exhibition. At the request of the donor, the intern will work six to seven weeks during the summer and will receive a stipend

equivalent to ten percent above the minimum wage for the hours worked. COLLECTION PRESERVATION The Development Office constantly seeks new sources of funding for the many projects underway. As a result, the Museum recently received a grant of $5,600 from the New York State Program for Conservation and Preservation of Library Research Materials for the preservation of its cased photographic collection. This is the first 61

Custom Made Stretchers for displaying Quilts & Hooked Rugs Rag Carpets sewn together for Area Rugs

Pie Galinat 230 w 10th St ny. n.y. 10014 (212) 741 - 3259


award the Museum has ever received from the program, a division of The State Education Department. The collection, which consists of some 400 works, includes daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, and tintypes, all dating from the mid-nineteenth century. Images include folk art portraits and paintings, individuals engaged in the creation of folk art (basketry, pottery, quilting, weaving, painting), and portraits of individuals with folk art objects. The pieces in the collection were given to the Museum in separate gifts by two donors, Dr. Stanley Burns and Gail Gomberg Propp. The grant will allow the Museum to survey the condition of the collection and provide an appropriate method of storage, thus ensuring the preservation of these images for future exhibition and study. 62

GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATE SUPPORT FOR ACQUISITIONS The recent changes in tax laws regarding gifts of art from individuals have made it imperative for the Museum to secure new sources of support for acquisitions. For the first time in its history, the Museum has received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to purchase works for the permanent collection. The award of $5,000 from the Endowment has been matched with a gift of $5,000 from the Metropolitan Life Foundation, Museum Grants for Minority Visual Arts Program. Both programs are designed to encourage the preservation and presentation of works by living American artists. This unique combination of govern-

ment and corporate support for acquisitions will allow the Museum to purchase five works of art by members of the Dial Family of Bessemer, Alabama. Thornton Sr. and his sons,Thornton Jr., Richard, and Dan, and nephew, Ronald, represent an important group of contemporary Southern Black selftaught artists. Working in a communal environment in the backyard of the home of Thornton Sr., the five artists work in a range of media including wood, plastic, plaster, paint, found objects, and iron, for which Bessemer is known. Funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Metropolitan Life Foundation will make possible the purchase of works by members of the Dial family, the first in the permanent collection of the Museum of American Folk Art. The Clarion


Executive Committee Ralph Esmerian President Frances Sirota Martinson, Esq. Executive Vice President Lucy C. Danziger Vice President George E Shaskan, Jr. Treasurer Karen D. Cohen Judith A. Jedlicka Theodore L. Kesselman Susan Klein Kathryn Steinberg

Members Mabel H. Brandon Florence Brody Daniel Cowin Barbara Johnson, Esq. William I. Leffler George H. Meyer Cyril I. Nelson Cynthia V.A. Schaffner William Schneck Ronald K. Shelp Bonnie Strauss Maureen Taylor

Mrs. Dixon Wecter Robert N. Wilson Honorary Trustee Eva Feld Trustees Emeriti Adele Earnest Cordelia Hamilton Herbert W. Hemphill, Jr. Louis C. Jones Margery G. Kahn Alice M. Kaplan Jean Lipman


Francine Lynch Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A.

Paul Chusid Squibb Corporation

Rachel Newman Country Living

Gordon Bowman

Jerry Kaplan Thomas Troland Country Home

Barbara Wright New York Telephone

Frank Brenner Hartmarx Corporation

Allan Kaufman

Judith A. Jedlicka Theodore L. Kesselman Co-Chairmen Lewis Alpaugh Hoechst Celanese Corporation

INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY COUNCIL Frances Sirota Martinson, Esq. Mrs. Dixon Wecter Co-Chairmen Paul Anbinder William Arnett Frank & June Barsalona Mary Black Susan Blumstein Judi Boisson Gray Boone Robert & Katherine Booth Barbara & Edwin Braman Milton Brechner Raymond Brousseau Edward J. Brown Charles Burden Tracy Cate Margaret Cavigga Edward Lee Cave Richard & Peggy Danziger David Davies Marian DeWitt Davida Deutsch Charlotte Dinger Raymond & Susan Egan Margo Ernst Summer 1989

Howard Fertig Ted & Joanne Foulk Jacqueline Fowler Ken & Brenda Fritz Ronald Gard Dr. Kurt A. Gitter Merle & Barbara Glick Howard M. Graff Bonnie Grossman Michael & Julie Hall Lewis I. Haber Elaine Heifetz Terry Heled Josef & Vera Jelinek Joan Johnson Eloise Julius Isobel & Harvey Kahn Allen Katz James Keene Mark Kennedy Arthur & Sibyl Kern William Ketchum Susan Kraus Wendy Lavitt Marilyn Lubetkin Robert & Betty Marcus Paul Martinson

Steven Michaan Michael & Marilyn Mennello Alan Moss Kathleen S. Nester Helen Neufeld Henry Niemann Paul Oppenheimer Dr. Burton W. Pearl Patricia Penn Leo & Dorothy Rabkin Harriet Polier Robbins Charles & Jan Rosenak Joseph J. Rosenberg Le Rowell Randy Siegel Sibyl Simon Susan Simon Ann Marie Slaughter Sanford L. Smith R. Scudder Smith Richard Solar Hume Steyer Jane Supino Edward Tishelman Tony & Anne Vanderwarker John Weeden G. Marc Whitehead 63


The Museum of American Folk Art thanks its current major donors for their generous support: $20,000 and above Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein Bear, Steams & Co.,Inc. Ben & Jerry's Homemade,Inc. Bidermann Industries Judi Boisson Marilyn & Milton Brechner Cosmair Inc. Country Living Mr. & Mrs. Frederick M. Danziger Dillard's Mrs. Eva Feld Estate of Morris Feld Genesco Inc. Hartmarx Corporation William Randolph Hearst Foundation The Hot Sox Co., Inc. IBM Corporation Klear-Knit, Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Lauren Jean & Howard Lipman R.H. Macy & Co., Inc. Mahoney Cohen & Co. Manifaro Inc. Joseph Martinson Memorial Fund The May Stores Foundation, Inc. National Endowment for the Arts New York State Council on the Arts Optique Du Monde Ltd. Oxford Industries, Inc. PaineWebber Group Inc. Philip Morris Companies Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation Leo & Dorothy Rabkin Seibu Corporation of America Herbert and Nell Singer Foundation, Inc. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom J.P. Stevens & Co., Inc. United Technologies Corporation Warnaco Inc. Warner Communications Mrs. Dixon Wecter Wells, Rich, Greene, Inc. Whisper Knits, Inc. The Xerox Foundation $10,000-$19,999 Estate of Mary Allis American Express Company Amicus Foundation Coats & Clark, Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Peter Cohen Cowen & Company The Joyce & Daniel Cowin Foundation Inc. Culbro Corporation Adele Earnest Fairfield Processing Corporation/Poly-file Daniel and Jessie Lie Farber Walter and Josephine Ford Fund The Peter S. Kalikow Fund, Inc. Shirley and Theodore L. Kesselman Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts Foundation 64

Naomi Leff & Associates, Inc. Manufacturers Hanover "frust Masco Corporation Kathleen S. Nester New York Telephone Reliance Group Holdings Republic National Bank of New York Restaurant Associates Industries, Inc. Revlon Group Inc. Derrald Ruttenberg Schlumberger Foundation, Inc. David Schwartz Foundation, Inc. Samuel Schwartz Mr. & Mrs. George E Shaskan, Jr. Shearson Lehman Hutton Peter and Linda Solomon Foundation Springs Industries Mr. & Mrs. Robert Steinberg Barbara and Thomas W. Strauss Fund Watt= Ltd. Weiss Peck & Greer Wilke Farr & Gallagher $4,000-$9,999 American Stock Exchange Bankers Trust Company The BernhiII Fund Bristol-Myers Fund Mr. & Mrs. Martin Brody The David and Dorothy Carpenter Foundation Tracy Roy & Barbara Wahl Cate Chase Manhattan Bank, N.A. The Clokeys Inc. The Cowles Charitable Trust Mr. & Mrs. Edgar M.Cullman Mr. & Mrs. Richard Danziger David Davies Department of Cultural Affairs, City of New York Jacqueline Fowler Colonel Alexander W. Gentleman Richard Goodyear Hoechst Celanese Corporation Barbara Johnson, Esq. Margery and Harry Kahn Philanthropic Fund Kornreich Insurance Services Mr. & Mrs. Robert Klein Wendy & Mel Lavitt Metropolitan Life Foundation George H. Meyer Steven Michaan Annette Reed Arthur Ross Foundation The Salomon Foundation Squibb Corporation Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Tananbaum John Weeden Robert N.& Anne Wright Wilson Norman & Rosita Winston Foundation $2,000-$3,999 American Folk Art Society Berry Hill Galleries Inc. The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Block The Coach Dairy Goat Farm

Country Home Mr. & Mrs. Joseph E Cullman 3rd Exxon Corporation Mr. & Mrs. Alvin Einbender Janey Fire Cordelia Hamilton Justus Heijmans Foundation Johnson & Johnson Knapp Communications Corporation Mr. 8z Mrs. Richard LeFralc Mr. & Mrs. Daniel W. Lufkin Marsh & McLennan Companies McGraw-Hill, Inc. Morgan Stanley & Co.,Incorporated The New York Times Company Foundation, Inc. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation Laura H. Petito Foundation The Reader's Digest Association, Inc. Betsey Schaeffer Robert T. & Cynthia V.A. Schaffner Mr. & Mrs. Derek V. Schuster Joel 8z Susan Simon Mr. & Mrs. Austin Super Mr. & Mrs. Richard T. Taylor Time Inc. Triangle Foundation Adrienne Vittadini Inc. David & Jane Walentas Gerard C. Wertkin $1,000-$1,999 B. Altman & Co. Brooke Astor The Bachmann Foundation Didi & David Barrett Mr. & Mrs. Frank Barsalona Stephen Bell Mr. & Mrs. Albert BeIlas Edward Vermont Blanchard & M. Anne Hill Bill Blass, Ltd. Bozell, Jacobs, Kenyon & Eckhardt Mr. & Mrs. Edwin Braman Mabel H. Brandon Edward J. Brown Ian G.M. & Marian M. Brownlie Edward Lee Cave Liz Claiborne Foundation Consolidated Edison Company of New York Crane Co. Richard K. Descherer Mr. & Mrs. Alvin Deutsch Mr. & Mrs. Donald DeWitt Gerald & Marie DiMann째 The Marion and Ben Duffy Foundation Echo Foundation Ellin E Ente Virginia S. Esmerian John L. Ernst Faith Golding Foundation Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Stuart Feld Mt & Mrs. Thomas Ferguson M. Anthony Fisher Susan & Eugene Flamm The Franklin Mint George Friedman Mr. & Mrs. Richard S. Fuld, Jr.

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Maicol Stark (1914 -

"1 ASAF KACHINA, Hopi, C. 1900, 12"H.

Visit the New Gallery in Scottsdale 6990 E. MAIN ST., Second Floor SCOTTSDALE, AZ 85251 (602) 946-2910 Summer Hours Tue.-Sat. 11-4, August by Appointment

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Generra Sportswear Co., Inc. Emanuel Gerard The Howard Gilman Foundation Selma & Sam Goldwitz Renee Graubert Mr. & Mrs. Martin D. Gruss Mr & Mrs. Charles Gwathmey Terry & Simca Heled The Betty L. Hess Fund Hirsch!& Adler Galleries Alice & Ronald Hoffman Stanley Jaffee Productions Mr. & Mrs. Yee Roy Jear Judith A. Jedlicka Joan & Victor L. Johnson William K. Joseph Isobel & Harvey Kahn Kallir, Philips, Ross, Inc. The Karp Foundation The Kihi Lee & Ed Kogan Mr. & Mrs. Arie L. Kopelman Susan Kudlow Mr. & Mrs. Jeffrey Lane Estee Lauder Inc. Mr. 8z Mrs. Ronald Lauder Wendy & Mel Lavin Estate of Mary B. Ledwith John A. Levin Co.,Inc. Dorothy & John Levy James & Frances Lieu Mr. & Mrs. Arthur Liman Macmillan, Inc. Robert & Betty Marcus Foundation, Inc. Mr. & Mrs. James H. Manges Marstrand Foundation Christopher & Linda Mayer Helen R. Mayer & Harold C. Mayer Foundation Marjorie W. McConnell Meryl & Robert Meltzer Michael & Marilyn Mennello Robert & Joyce Menschel Foundation Benson Motechin, C.P.A., P.C. National Westminster Bank USA The Natori Company New York Council for the Humanities Mr.& Mrs. Donald E. Newhouse Mattie Lou O'Kelley Mr. & Mrs. Edward Pantzer Penn Conn Limited Mr. & Mrs. Mark Perlbinder Mr. & Mrs. Roger Phillips Mr. & Mrs. William Potter Rama.c Corporation Cathy Rasmussen Ann-Marie Reilly Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III Alyce & Roger Rose Willa & Joseph Rosenberg Mr. & Mrs. Jon Rotenstreich Schlaifer Nance Foundation Mr. & Mrs. William Schneck R.D. Schonfeld & Co.,Inc. Mr & Mrs. Richard Sears Randy Siegel Rev. & Mrs. Alfred R. Shands III

George Sheinberg Ronald K. Shelp Mrs. Vera W. Simmons Philip & Mildred Simon Mrs. A. Simone Mr. & Mrs. Richard L. Solar Mt & Mrs. Elie Soussa Mt & Mrs. Sanford L. Smith Paul Stuart Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Tananbaum Mr. & Mrs. Michael L. Tarnopol Phyllis & Irving Tepper That Patchwork Place Tiffany & Co. Tishman Speyer Properties Anne D. Utescher H. van Ameringen Foundation Tony & Anne Vanderwarker Veronis, Suhler & Associates V.I.P. Fabrics Elizabeth & Irwin Warren Well, Gotshal & Manges Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Weintraub Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Whitman Weiss Wertheim Schroder & Co. Mr. & Mrs. John H. Winkler Mr. & Mrs. Jon Wurtzburger $500-$999 APCO Corporation Didier Aaron Robin Albin Helen & Paul Anbinder Anthony Annese Louis Bachman Nancy Bachrach David C. Batten Roger S. Berlind Jeffrey & Mary Bijur Eleanor Dell Billet Robert & Katherine Booth Carolyn 8z Kenneth Brody Nan Bush Inc. Mr. & Mrs. Ward Carey Colwill/McGee, Inc. Confluence Edward & Nancy Coplon Judy Angelo Cowen Edgar M. Cullman, Jr. The Danunann Fund,Inc. Andre & Sarah de Coizart Oscar de la Renta Mr. & Mrs. James DeSilva, Jr. Mr. & Mrs. James A. Edmonds,Jr. Richard C.& Susan B. Ernst Foundation Mr. & Mrs. Howard Fertig Janet Fleisher Gallery Timothy C. Forbes Estelle E. Friedman Kenneth & Brenda Fritz Riki Gail Interiors Peter Gee Katharine S. Gilbert Mr. & Mrs. William L. Gladstone Gomez Associates Mr. & Mrs. Baron J. Gordon

Dr. & Mrs. Stanley Greenberg Grey Advertising, Inc. The Charles U. Harris Living Trust Denison H. Hatch Craig M. Hatkoff Raymond E. Holland David Horowitz Mr. & Mrs. David S. Howe Mr.& Mrs. Thomas C. Israel Cathy M. Kaplan Mary Kettaneh Mr. & Mrs. Jonathan King Jana K. Klauer Joel & Kate Kopp Elaine Koster Helene-Diane Kravis Janet Langlois Dalia Leeds William & Susan Leffler Mr. & Mrs. Peter Levy Mr. & Mrs. Richard M. Livingston Helen E. & Robert B. Luchars Manderley Antiques Hemline Mariaux Robin & William Mayer Mr. & Mrs. D. Eric McKechnie Gael Mendelsohn Christie Ferer Millard Pierson K. Miller Mr. & Mrs. Richard Netter Dr. Burton W. Pearl Mr. & Mrs. Lawrence B. Pike Priory Partners Mr. & Mrs. Stanley M. Riker Betty Ring Dorothy Roberts Trevor C. Roberts Joanna S. Rose Richard Sabino Saks Fifth Avenue Mary Frances Saunders Skidmore Owings & Merrill Smith Gallery SONY Corporation of America David F. Stein Robert C.& Patricia A. Stempel Sterling Sound Texaco Philanthropic Foundation, Inc. Marco P. Walker Washburn Gallery Bruce Weber Anne G. Wesson Mr. & Mrs. John R. Young Marcia & John Zweig

The Museum is grateful to the CoChairwomen of its Special Events Committee for the significant support received through the Museum's major fund raising events chaired by them. Karen D. Cohen Cynthia V.A. Schaffner

66 The Clarion



Mr. & Mrs. Angelo Pinto, New York, NY Dr. & Mrs. R.L. Polak, Amsterdam, Holland

We wish to thank the following members for their increased membership contributions and for their expression of confidence in the Museum:

Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Riker, New York, NY Robert A. Roth, Chicago, IL

Bonnie Jean Barrett, Scottsdale, AZ Dr. & Mrs. Lester Blum, New York, NY Marilyn & Milton Brechner, Sands Point, NY Robert Brunner, North Ridge, CA

George Schweitzer, Larchmont, NY Jean Stewart, Bedford Village, NY Jamye L. Sutter, Kennesaw, GA Jeffrey C. Tweedy, Bedford, NY

P.L. Crafts Jr., Morristown, NJ Mrs. Lester Eisner Jr., New York, NY

Earl Jamison, Lahaska,PA Jeffrey R. Johnson, Springfield, MO

Howard M. Graff, Townshend, VT

Mimi & Richard Livingston, Larclunont, NY

Mr & Mrs. H. Baird Hansen, Syracuse, NY Edward Hosken, Palos Verdes Estates, CA

Anne Mendel McCormack, New York, NY Mr. & Mrs. Dana G. Mead, Cos Cob,CT

Lynn Vanmatre, Chicago, IL Peter & Lisa Vogler, Kokomo,IN Mary Ann Wolf, Roslyn, NY Mary Linda & Victor Zonana, New York, NY



The Museum trustees and staff extend a special welcome to these new members: Barbara Ackerman, New York, NY Robin Alpert, New York, NY Clifton Anderson, Lexington, KY Jacqueline Asplundh, Lancaster, PA John Balsley, Brown Deer, WI Howard T. Barnett, New Orleans, LA Barrister's Gallery, New Orleans, LA Bruce E Beaty, Greenwich, CT Joyce Becker, Merrick, NY Pat Benton, St. Simon's Island, GA Penny Black, Croton on Hudson, NY Michael J. Blackburn, Dallas, TX Leon C. Boniface, Neosho, WI Sara D. Boyd, Stamford, CT Braunstein/Quay Gallery, San Francisco, CA Kasara Brennan, Scarsdale, NY Mrs. Gary M. Brost, Williamsville, NY Lee A. Brown, Dearborn, MI Elsa Brown, Ridgefield, CT Jeanne B. Bunn,Prairie Village, KS Iris Burkat, Scarsdale, NY Gladys B. Burns, Greencastle, PA Frances Butler, Oakland, CA Sister Karlyn Cauley, Milwaukee, WI Brooke Colella, New York, NY Bonnie J. Cook, East Greenbush, NY Cornell University Library, Ithaca, NY Judith Hoffman Corwin, New York, NY Mrs. William B. Crawford, New York, NY Lynda Cunningham, New York, NY Summer 1989

Gary Davenport, New York, NY Jeanette Davidson, Greenwich, CT Margaret J. Doan, Kansas City, MO Jack Doenias, Forest Hills, NY Patricia Dombal, Fairlawn, NJ Jeanette Donohue, Plainview, NY John R. Doss, New York, NY Darby Downey, New York, NY

Arlene HocInnan, Jersey City, NJ Betty Hudson, Upper Montclair, NJ Charles Humston, Dayton, OH Maridean Hutton, New York, NY

Sally C. Eckerson, Fair Haven, NJ Robert Elman, Quebec, Canada Sharyn Emerick, Pittsford, NY Mrs. Virginia Esmerian, New York, NY

Wendy J. Kalif, New York, NY Bernard M. Kamber, New York, NY Barbara & Leslie Kaplan, Gladwyne,PA Mrs. Carolyn Kelly, Atlanta, GA Patricia & Jeffrey Kenner, New York, NY Rose Kenny, Brooklyn, NY Richard Kitchen, New York, NY Mrs. Julie Kohler, Lancaster, PA Sharon D. Koota, New York, NY Allan F. Kramer, Brooklyn, NY Erich Krausse, New York, NY Sheila Kreutzer, Portland, OR Norma Kummel, Pacific Palisades, CA Hatsumi Kurokawa, Albertson, NY

Nicholas & Betty Ann Falletta, New York, NY Deborah & Robert Feld, New York, NY H.S. Feldman, New York, NY Roy and Nancy Fischer, New York, NY Barbara E. Fortini, North Bergen, NJ Celeste J. Fregara, Princeton, NJ Anne M.Friedland, Poughkeepsie, NY Diana Friedman, New York, NY Mrs. Gloria Frost, Jenner, CA Judith Goodlet, Milwaukee, WI Judy Oliver, Gordon, New York, NY Gretchen Haas,High Falls, NY Michael D. Hall, Bloomfield Hills, MI Linda Baxter Hardy, Foxboro, MA Catherine M. Hechler, New York, NY Rick Heller, Pettigrew, AR Julie Heller, Provincetown, MA Michael High, Uniontown, OH Linda Hirschman, Woodcliff Lake, NJ

Mary Jacobs, Englewood, NJ Marie Jeff, Birmingham, AL Priscilla Johnson, Chappaqua, NY

Carol Lachman, Brooklyn, NY Frayda Lebovits, New York, NY Harriette Lefler, Miami Shores, FL Peter M. Lehrer, New York, NY Martin Lenahan, Bellerose, NY Theodora Lok, New York, NY Joan G. Lowenthal, Rye, NY Leszek Macak, New York, NY Mrs. Josephine Madero, Old Brookville, NY Main Street Gallery, Clayton, GA 67

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Diane Malena, Jackson Heights, NY Julia Lang MaIly, Westport, CT Beth Mandelbaum, Brooklyn, NY Mrs. Ann McClure, King of Prussia, PA Rosemarie Rister McDonald, Rochester, NY Mrs. Fletcher McDowell, New York, NY Kimberly McFarlane, New York, NY David B. McGrail, Hopewell, NJ Barb Middleton, Dallas, TX Billie Ann Miller, Barrington, IL Barry Molinar, Minneapolis, MN Betty L. Morefield, New York, NY Dave Nelson, Ephrata, PA New York Historical Society Library, New York, NY Mark W. Onieal, Pleasanton, CA David Pai-Ritchie, Glendale, CA Suzanne PeIler, New York, NY Susan Plotkin, Brooklyn, NY Gertrude A. Quinn, New York, NY Karla A. Rapena, Jackson Heights, NY 68

Mr. Michael Reilly, Cos Cob,CT L. Rheuban, Canfield, OH Edward Ripp, Chicago, IL Sarah Ripp, New York, NY Ann Rose, Zanesville, OH Estelle Rosen, New York, NY Timothy J. Russert, New York, NY Susie V. Ryan,Trenton, MO Mrs. Francine Ryan, Garden City, NY

Jane Speyer, Dayton, OH Mr. & Mrs. Donald Strauber, New York, NY Pamela Strousse, Rye, NY Mrs. Ann B. Tate, Newport Beach, CA Justin Tausig, Kew Gardens, NY The Upholstered Room,Inc., Brooklyn, NY Kathryn Missy, Walnut Creek, CA Pauline Ungar, Larchmont, NY

Carole P. Sadler, New York, NY Ilena Satin, Brooklyn, NY M.A. Saunders, Rye, NY Savannah College of Art & Design Library, Savannah, GA Ruth Scharf, New York, NY Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA Kathleen Seguin, New York, NY Robert K. Sholl, Wauwatosa, WI William Skillman, New York, NY Sklover/Morales Family, Merrick, NY Bonnie Snow, Philadelphia, PA George Spencer, Knoxville, TN Maida Sperling, Great Neck, NY Lauren Spertus, New York, NY

Joan Van Haasteren, New York, NY Carmen Vasquez, New York, NY Robert V. Vermillion, Huntington Woods, MI Deborah Vessels, Noblesville, IN Miriam Wallach, New York, NY Mr.& Mrs. Roger C. Ward, Short Hills, NJ Norma Wasserman, New Rochelle, NY Carolyn White, Chicago, IL Anthony Whitman, Santa Fe, NM Mary N. Williams, Wichita, KS Michael D. Williams, Baton Rouge, LA Doug Wissing, Solsberry,IN Walter L. Wolf, Rydal, PA

The Clarion

"Wien-aller En Bourgogne"Oil on Canvas by Michel D

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"Stitched from the Soul: Slave Quilts from the Ante-Bellum South" is scheduled to open at the new Museum of American Folk Art/Eva and Morris Feld Gallery at Lincoln Square,Two Lincoln Square,on Columbus Avenue and 66th Street, New York City on July 20, 1989 and run through September 17, 1989. Guest Curator Gladys-Marie Fry, Associate Professor of Folklore at the University of Maryland, presents a selection of35 fine examples of pieced and appliquĂŠd quilts, woven coverlets and embroidered counterpanes, most of which have never been publicly displayed before, together with new research documenting and reevaluating the role of African-American women on plantations. This comprehensive exhibition is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts and the


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212/977-7170 212/977-7170 516/883-9397

Folk Art Institute










Detailfrom AppliquĂŠd Quilt; Artist unknown;Circa 1850;Region unknown; Cotton with homespun backing;41 x 59". Collection ofEleanor Lee.

National Endowment for the Arts. The Gallery is open daily from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Educational programming which will accompany the exhibition, including quilting demonstrations and a symposium scheduled for Friday, July 21, 1989 is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts. For further information on the symposium contact the Curator ofEducation, Museum of American Folk Art,61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023; tel. 212/977-7170. Additional plans for the exhibition include the publication of a related book later this fall. The show will travel to the Renwick Gallery, Washington, DC,and the Huntsville Museum of Art, Huntsville, Alabama.


Please note our new addresses and phone numbers.

Two Lincoln Square, New York, NY 10023-6214

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Two Lincoln Square, New York, NY 10023-6214


62 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10020-1504




Museum members from various parts of the United States and Canada enjoyed two exciting Folk Art Explorers' Club trips this Spring. The first was a five-day Texas tour and the second was a special weekend for out-of-town members in New York City. On the Texas trip, members toured Houston and San Antonio from March 30 to April 4, 1989 and visited the Menil Museum and four private collections, barbecued at the unique Orange Show and toured the San Antonio Museum of Art with Dr. Marion Oettinger. Highlights of the New York City trip, April 7 to 9, 1989, the weekend before the opening of the Museum's new gallery, included visits to two private collections in New York City, a unique evening at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts designed specifically for the Explorers' Club, and a preview tour of the Museum's new Eva and Morris Feld Gallery at Lincoln Square. Tours planned for the Fall include a trip to Brimfield, Massachusetts and a graveyard tour in Brooklyn and Staten

Explorers in New York City,shown left to right in front row: Mary Ellen Bergeron, Doris Feinsilber, Sylvia Camlot, Sari Litwin and Membership Director Beth Bergin. Chris Cappiello, Mike Feinsilber, Art Moebius, Stephen Litwin, Irving Camlot, Ruth Moebius, Bill Kent and Nancy Roskos in second row.

Island, New York. For information about upcoming Explorers' Club trips, write to the Museum of American Folk Art, Membership Office, 61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023.

The Clarion


FOLK ART INSTITUTE The Fall session of the Museum's Folk Art Institute, which begins September 11, 1989, is now open for registration. Auditors are welcome on a space available basis at $15 a session. A reduced fee is available for auditors who sign up for the complete course and choose not to take the exams. For fully matriculated students of the Institute, the tuition is $75 a credit. Classes will be held at the Folk Art Institute, Museum of American Folk Art,61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023; tel. 212/977-7170. Please address inquiries

A survey of the history of the folk art market, key sales, gallery and auction activity, museum acquisitions and deaccessions. There will be visits to collections, galleries and auction houses. FA 62

Students are invited to apply to the instructor for research assignments on twentieth century folk artists in preparation for a coming major publication.


3 credits FA 80

Barbara Cate


An introduction to Shaker history and religion. Included in this five-part course will be Shaker architecture, furniture, crafts, textiles and gift drawings.

3 credits

Henry Niemann FA 826

Mondays 10:00am-12:30pm

SOURCES AND DOCUMENTS Instructors: Lee Kogan and Mimi Sherman

1 credit

5 Tuesdays 9/12, 9/19, 9/26,10/3. 10/17 10:00am-12:30pm Visit libraries, museums and archives to learn how to use these resources in your own research. Field trips will be made to the Frick Library, New York Public Library, Archives of American Art, etc. FA 35


3 credits


Wednesdays 9:30am-11:00am

Summer 1989

5 Monday evenings 6:00pm-8:00pm Five specialists will lecture as follows: 9/11 French Canadian Folk Art; Speaker: Ben Apfelbaum 9/18 Puerto Rican Santos; Speaker: Alan Moss 9/25 The Folk Arts of Haiti; Speaker: Selden Rodman 10/16 Folk Arts of Latin America; Speaker: Marion Oettinger 10/23 Art of the Inuits; Speaker: Raymond Brousseau




A study of American furniture through the nineteenth century. Each period will be explored in the context of its historical background, stylistic and design characteristics, significant construction details and techniques, and form and function.


1 credit

David A. Schorsch

Wednesdays 6:00pm-8:30pm

FA 37


An overview of three-dimensional forms ranging from gravestones, figureheads, weathervanes and cigar store Indians to the idiosyncratic sculpture of today. FA 31A

1 credit

Gerard C. Wertkin

5 Tuesday evenings 10/24, 10/31, 11/7, 11/14, 11/28 5:30pm-8:00pm

This introductory course is intended to serve as a background and to enable the student to evaluate folk art in the framework of art history. AMERICAN FOLK SCULPTURE


Wednesdays 12 noon-2:30pm

FA 12

1-3 credits

Lee Kogan

By appointment

to this address.

FA 01


2 credits


Rubens Teles

5 Thursday evenings 9/14, 9/21, 9/28, 10/5, 10/12 6:00pm-8:00pm Fee: $90 A concentration on the intricacies of graining, using combs, sponges, rags, brushes, putty and other traditional tools. Learn to do knots and the grains of different woods, such as bird's eye maple and mahogany. Students bring in an object to paint.


,1..7t 1 1



5 Thursday evenings 10/26, 11/2, 11/9, 11/16, 11/30 6:00pm-8:00pm Fee: $90

WS 523

You will make a 4"Shaker pin-cushion basket which is a reproduction of the traditional cat head basket. The base is of pounded black ash and the cushion is stuffed with wool; both the ash and the wool are gathered from Hancock Shaker Village.

Rubens Teles

WS 521


A concentration on the intricacies of marbleizing, using glazes and waterbased paints, as well as brushes, feathers and other unorthodox instruments. The students will bring in their own projects on which to work.

Instructor: Sarah Hilton


Make a painted floor cloth based on a traditional Amish quilt pattern, using traditional Amish colors. At the end of the day you will take home a two foot square canvas rug, plus your brushes, knives and tools.


Friday October 13 10:00am-4:00pm Fee: $65 Materials: $25

Anne Eastwood

3 Thursdays 9/28, 10/5, 10/12 10:00am-3:00pm Fee: $80 Materials: $35

WS 519

PAINT YOUR OWN "LITTLE GIRL IN RED" Instructor: Sudee Sanders

Choose from a selection of Oriental patterns and hook a 14 x 24" rug. Using a special machine you cut spaghetti-like strands of pure wool which you hook onto the printed burlap backing. This traditional fine-cut work creates a valuable Oriental rug. Bring a small, straight blade pair of scissors.

Friday October 27 10:00am-4:00pm Fee: $65 Materials: $5 You need no previous training to learn how to paint your own portraits in the folk art manner. Using the famous LITTLE GIRL IN RED and other traditional paintings as your inspiration, you will do a watercolor on paper.



Rubens Teles

Make an 11 x 14" sampler which includes traditional motifs such as the alphabet and numbers, but also has modern motifs including the Manhattan skyline and an Art Nouveau border. Bring a small sharp pair of scissors. WS 518


WS 517B RUG HOOKING Instructor:

Friday September 29 10:00am-4:00pm Fee: $65 Materials: $15

Bring in a wooden box, panel, tray or any flat object to be stencilled from a choice of patterns supplied by the instructor. You will complete a project as well as learn the basics of stencilling so you can stencil at home on walls, floors, etc. WS 524


WS 520


Gerrie Kennedy

Friday October 6 10:00am-4:00pm Fee: $65 Materials: $20


Hildegard Vetter

Friday November 10 10:00am-4:00pm Fee: $65 Materials: $10

Anne Eastwood

Make a floral pattern hooked rug, circular or square, to be used as a chair seat, pillow or wall hanging. Use pure wool flannel to create a wide cut design of three open flowers, buds and leaves. Bring a straight blade pair of scissors.

Marie Wilson

Friday November 3 10:00am-4:00pm Fee: $65 Materials: $20

Friday September 22 10:00am-4:00pm Fee: $65 Materials: $10 Learn to paint country scenes or seascapes using color to create perspective, sponges to fashion trees, and antiquing techniques to add nostalgia to the paintings. Bring a canvas, panel, box or whatever you wish to decorate.



Rubens Teles

Friday December 8 10:00am-4:00pm Fee: $65 Materials: $10 This course is similar to WS 504C but is instead a fast introduction to marbleizing which teaches you basic techniques. Bring in an object to paint.

The Clarion

OWELL EPSTEIN/P N.Y. 10013 22 Wooster St., New York, By Appointment(212)226-7316 Jesse Aaron Rifka Angel David Butler Vestie Davis William Dawson Charlie Dieter Mr. Eddy Antonio Esteves Howard Finster Victor Joseph Gatto(Estate) S.L.Jones Lawrence Lebduska Justin McCarthy Emma Lee Moss Inez Nathaniel Joe Polinski Old Ironsides Pry Nellie Mae Rowe Jack Savitsky Clarence Stringfield Mose Tolliver George Williams Luster Willis and others


The Red Plain

Victor Joseph Gatto (32" 44",Coil on Canvas)


Claire Murray's art is beauty. It if a reflection of memories, the blend ofthe traditional and the contemporary, the vibrance ofcolor and the warmth ofhome. Hand hooked rugs, kits and hand appliqued quilts. Call or write for our catalog, $5, refundable on first purchase. P.O. Box 2489, Dept. Fl Nantucket, MA 02584 1-800-323-9276 Info: 1-508-228-1913 .co4 leatigikAk w %MVPS. Rare Cottage, 27" x 36", A Claire Murray Original, $250.

Summer 1989




Registered so far are 1,386 quilts and still counting. As the New York Quilt Project moves to new areas, the richness of New York's quilt heritage continues to unfold its visual pleasures and research opportunities. The active involvement of local quilt guilds and their volunteers has helped enormously in collecting historical and technical data for the quilt archives to be established at the Museum. Future quilt days in New York State are scheduled for July 11, 1989 in Auburn; July 15, 1989 in Sullivan County; August 12, 1989 in Dutchess County; August 19, 1989 in Stone Ridge, Ulster County; September 9-10, 1989 in Syracuse; September 16, 1989 in Ithaca;September 21, 1989in Owego; September 23, 1989 in Vestal(Binghamton); September 30, 1989 in Utica; October 7-8, 1989 in Oneonta; and October 15, 1989 in Corning, Horseheads, and Elmira. Please contact Phyllis A. Tepper, Director of the New York Quilt Project, Museum of American Folk Art,61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023, telephone 212/977-7170 for further information. Schedule is subject to change.



GALLERY OPENING To rave reviews as a "... much deserved new home for folk art',' the Museum of American Folk Art/Eva and Morris Feld Gallery at Lincoln Square opened to the public at 9 a.m. on April 13, 1989. The first visitor arrived at 9:01 a.m. and attendance since has been steady and enthusiastic. Claire Schadler, former Gallery Director, oversaw construction of the new interior space of the Gallery, which is cruciform in plan, with four wings radiating from a central atrium. The space is designed to be accessible to the handicapped. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. Admission is free.

Top, St. Tammany weathervane arrives at the new Gallery for installation in the Atrium. Right, "Museum ofAmerican Folk Art/Eva and Morris Feld Gallery at Lincoln Square" is painted on front windowfor all to see.

QUILT FESTIVAL RAFFLE WINNERS Congratulations to Enza Crivelli of Springfield, Massachusetts, winner of the first prize antique Amish crib quilt and second prizewinner Virginia Mahady of New York City who won "The Bird of Paradise" Albany Blanket Chest. The quilt was donated by Judy Boisson Guilts • New York • Southampton • Westport and the blanket chest was given by The Lane Company, Inc. The raffle, sponsored by the Museum, was held at The Great American Quilt Festival 2. Proceeds will benefit the Museum's acquisition fund.


Dr. Mary Schmidt Campbell, Commissioner ofDepartment ofCultural Affairs, City ofNew York;Kitty Carlisle Hart, Chairman ofNew York State Council on the Arts and Honorary Trustee Eva Feld.

The Clarion



Clockwise, from upper left, opening festivities for the Gallery included a black tie galafor benefactocs and a Members' Openingfeaturing an Ice Cream Social by Ben & Jerry's Homemade; Younger members admire a crib quilt during opening; Mayor Edward1.Koch stops but resists Ben & Jerry's treats; Clifford LaFontaine, left, Director of Design and Construction ofthe Gallery, and his son, Lucas LaFontaine, right, talk with David May of SUPERSTRUCTURES,the project's architects and engineers. Members of all ages delight in the Carousel Horse in the East Wing. Above, John Martinson, left, with Frances and Paul Martinson in the Martinson Gallery.

Summer 1989






Matching good design with practical purpose â&#x20AC;&#x201D; in true folk art fashion â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the Museum has published the Bibliography ofAmerican Folk Artfor the Year 1987, the first of what is planned to be an annual bibliography of American folk art. Compiled by Eugene P. Sheehy and Rita G. Keckeissen, the bibliography represents the cooperative effort of the Museum's Publications Department and the Library, directed by Edith C. Wise. The attractive 32-page booklet provides collectors and scholars with a thorough record of books published during 1987 in the field offolk art, as well as an overview of related folk art activity through its listing of pertinent exhibition and auction catalogues. The Folk Art Bibliography can be purchased from the Museum of American Folk Art Book and Gift Shops for $4.95, or ordered by mail for $7.50 (which includes postage and handling) from Museum of American Folk Art Book and Gift Shop, Mail Order Department, Two Lincoln Square, New York, NY 10023. For further information about the 1988 Folk Art Bibliography, currently being compiled, contact the Museum of American Folk Art Library; Administrative Offices; 61 West 62nd Street, New York, NY 10023; telephone 212/977-7170.

Artist Jane G. Pollak helped celebrate the Easter holiday at both Museum of American Folk Art Book and Gift Shops in New York City by demonstrating the ancient Ukrainian art of pysanky, the decoration of eggs. Pollak applied traditional American quilt patterns, such as Baby Blocks and North Carolina Lily, to the eggs dipping them into a dye after each stage of the pattern was applied. Pollak treats the egg as a canvas and feels its surface is perfect for the geometric designs of the quilt patterns. A former high school art teacher, Pollak has been making pysanky since 1972.

Artist Jane G.Pollak concentrates on making pysanky.

She recently decided to combine this with her interest in American quilts.

MUSEUM'S TRAVELING EXHIBITIONS Plan to visit the following Museum of American Folk Art exhibitions when they travel to your area during the coming months: May 25-October 2, 1989 The Pennsylvania German Hex Sign: A Photo Panel Exhibition Museum of American Folk Art Book and Gift Shop Gallery Warrensburg, New York tel. 518/668-9258 July 9-September 2, 1989 American Wildfowl Decoys Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum

Wausau, Wisconsin tel. 715/845-7010 July 30-September 24, 1989 Life in the New World: Selections from the Permanent Collection of the Museum of American Folk Art The Arkansas Arts Center Little Rock, Arkansas tel. 501/372-4000 August 10-October 19, 1989 Memories of Childhood: The Great American Quilt Festival 2 Minnestrista Cultural Center Muncie, Indiana tel. 317/282-4848



The class of 1989 graduated on May 17 from the Museum's Folk Art Institute. Congratulations are extended to (from left, back row)Maryann Warakomski, Alice Hoffman, Irma Shore, (front row) Phyllis Selnick and Mimi Sherman, and Cathy Rasmussen and Phyllis Tepper, absent from the photo. We are confident that they will make significant contributions to the folic art world and are pleased that they all will remain associated with the Museum.

The Clarion



The Pennsylvania Germans, as pioneer settlers in southeastern Pennsylvania, developed a unique and colorful culture showing great originality in the realm of folk art. Drawing on motifs and symbols of their European forefathers, they decorated such diverse items as furniture, clocks, frakturs, pottery, samplers,show towels,rifles, barns and tombstones. All were part of the flowering of Pennsylvania German folk art. In celebration of these creative people and their exuberant painted designs, the Museum of American Folk Art Book and Gift Shops are featuring the following items:

these rugs are 100% cotton and machine washable for easy care.

RUGS WITH HEX SIGN DESIGNS Size: Approximately 23 x 41" $23.95 each; $4.50 shipping In conjunction with the Museum of American Folk Art Home Furnishings program, Import Specialists has developed a new line of handwoven and handstencilled rugs inspired by the strikingly graphic design motifs of Pennsylvania German hex signs. The vivid jewel-like tones make them a perfect decorating accent for your floors; hang one rug or a grouping on your wall or use them as colorful table runners on your dining table. Functional as well as beautiful,

(A) Blue Moon Rising


.4iv 1 14

(B) Gold Compass

Summer 1989

HEX SIGNS:PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH BARN SYMBOLS AND THEIR MEANING By Don Yoder and Thomas E. Graves Published by E.P. Dutton in association with the Museum of American Folk Art and the Arts International Program/ Institute of International Education $17.95 softcover; $4.50 shipping Hex signs are geometrical decorations in the form oflarge stars painted on the facades or gable ends of barns. The word "hex" means witch in German. Exactly why the designs were used on barns and their true meaning remains the mystery that is explored in this fascinating and colorful book. Each year thousands of people travel Pennsylvania's "Hex Highways" looking for these distinctive examples of folk art. The many beautiful photographs in this book evoke the spirit of the Pennsylvania countryside and the heart of the people who painted these awesome barns — all for the reader to enjoy without ever leaving home. HANDMADE MINIATURE PENNSYLVANIA GERMAN CHESTS Sizes: 3 4"D —$99.95 3 4"W x 5/ Small — 6V2"H x 12/ Large — 9"H x 18"W x 8"D — $13195 Colors: (1) Barn red trimmed in black (2)Colonial blue trimmed in red Shipping: $7.50 The decorated chest is one of the most prized forms of Pennsylvania German fur-

niture and folk art. The Yellow Breeches Box Company combines painted decoration and hand-finished construction to create their miniature dovetailed dower chests which are authentic copies of a circa 1784 signed chest by Christian Seltzer of Jonestown, Pennsylvania. Examples of Seltzer chests are known to exist in the collections of the Winterthur, Henry Ford, and William Penn museums,as well as in private collections. A photo of the exact chest used as a design source for these miniatures appears in Dean Fales' wellknown book, American Painted Furniture. A similar antique chest made in Wythe County, Virginia, appeared in an ad on page 2 of The Clarion, Vol. 14, No. 2. Attractive yet functional, these pieces are ideal for storing sewing, needlework, candles, napkins, flatware, stationery, and mail. For a decorative accent, stack several chests together or place a dried flower arrangement inside for a unique centerpiece.

ORDERING INFORMATION • List individual items and prices and then total your order. • When ordering chest specify size and color choice. Allow six weeks for delivery. For rugs, specify design A or B. • Next, add 8.25% sales tax if mailed to New York City. Add local sales tax if mailed elsewhere in New York. • Last, add shipping charges. •Send check or money order to: Museum of American Folk Art Book and Gift Shop, Two Lincoln Square, New York, NY 10023, Attention: Mail Order, Dept. CR. Sorry, no credit cards or CODs. • Include your name and street address. We cannot ship to a P.O. box. • The Museum Shops carry an extensive collection of books on American folk art. To receive a list of publications available by mail, send $2.00 to the address above. 77

Robert Cargo

FOLK ART GALLERY Southern, Folk, and Afro-American Quilts Antiques • Folk Art

01i-16144es/ and becco.ative,


ON LONG BEACH ISLAND, NEW JERSEY 604 9'3Toad...cut * Wevuteri


'24..1, 08006


Charlie Lucas, Bad Old Twins, 241/2"x16", acrylic on canvas over panelboard, 1985.

Robert Cargo FOLK ART GALLERY 2314 Sixth Street, downtown Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401


Open weekends only 205/758-8884 and by appointment Home phone Saturday 10:00-5:00, Sunday 1:00-5:00 In New York area call 201 / 322-8732.


: 4 1 Ala

Stencilurerics 1723 Tilghman Street Allentown, PA 18104 Supplies and Classes in Stenciling and Other Early Craft Traditions Telephone:(215)433-7776 Parking in Rear



ir 4Z

• Custom Stencils •Traveling Stenciler


- 78

Tuesday - Saturday 10-5 PM

-Kathy Schoemer American Antiques and Decorations Route 116 at Keeler Lane North Salem, New York 10560 914/669-8464 Wednesday thru Sunday,12 to 5

************ THE MAHSTON HOUSE


Center of Wiscasset, Maine Route One at Middle Street 207-882-6010 Daily 10 to 5


A 19th Century 20 x 20 in. Embroidery of a Black Family at the dinner table.


We are interested in purchasing works by Afro-American Artists. Works depicting the AfroAmerican experience, fine sculpture and paintings of Afro-Americans.

AUTHENTIC DESIGNS 17 The Mill Road, West Rupert, Vermont 05776 (802) 394-7713 Catalogue $3.00

145 West Chicago Avenue Chicago, Illinois 60610 (312) 337-2670


JAY JOHNSON America's Folk Heritage Gallery 1044 Madison Avenue,N.Y., N.Y. 10021

Tues.-Sun. 11-6 Closed Mon. 628-7280


SUMMER HOURS Tues.-Sat. 11-6 Closed Sun.-Mon.


dint lir

JAY JOHNSON QUNTR 492 Piermont Avenue, Piermont, N.Y. 10968 (914) 359-6216 Hours: Thurs.-Sun. 12-5 Shirley, Mass. by KathyJakobsen O 1981 Oil on canvas 22"x 28"


America Hurrah American Primitive Gallery Americana by the Seashore Ames Gallery of American Folk Art Authentic Designs Robert Cargo Folk Art Gallery Cherishables Antiques E.P. Dutton Epstein/Powell Laura Fisher Pie Galinat Gallerie Americana Gasperi Folk Art Gallery Giampietro Gilley's Gallery


13 14 78 8 79 78 12 27 73 25 62 79 65 2 25

The Grass Roots Gallery 22 Grove Decoys 19 John C. Hill 65 Hirschl & Adler Folk Inside Back Cover Stephen Huneck 10 Jay Johnson 80 Kelter-Malce Inside Front Cover Don Mackey Shows,Inc. 23 The Marston House 79 Steve Miller 1 Mongerson-Wunderlich Galleries 11 Morning Star Gallery 5 Museum of International Folk Art 12 The Nantucket Collection 73 Newbury Fine Arts 69 Outside-In 21

E.G.H. Peter Sandi Wickersham Resnick Roger Ricco/Frank Maresca John Keith Russell Antiques,Inc. Sailor's Valentine Gallery Kathy Schoemer David A. Schorsch Stencilwerks Susie Fisk Stern Sweetgum Galleries The Tartt Gallery Eldred Wheeler of Houston Thos. K. Woodard Yellow House Antiques

19 68 3 Back Cover 15 78 16 78 65 13 4 14 6 15

The Clarion

Hirschl & Adler Folk

851 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10021 (212) 988-FOLK

JOHN K,ETTH ItUSSELL WIQUES, Rare, Possibly Unique "Wag on Wall" Clock With Moon Phase Dial, Thirty Hour Wooden Works. American, Probably Connecticut River Valley, C. 1780.


The Clarion (Summer 1989)  

Asa Ames and the Art of Phrenology • Religious Symbolism in African American Quilts • Joseph H. Davis: Identity Established • Aminah Robinso...

The Clarion (Summer 1989)  

Asa Ames and the Art of Phrenology • Religious Symbolism in African American Quilts • Joseph H. Davis: Identity Established • Aminah Robinso...