Issuu on Google+

AMERICA'S FOLK ART MAGAZINE

Museum of American Folk Art • New York City

WINTER 1979


ISRAEL SACK INC.

Sheraton curly maple work table decoration. painted with academy Massachusetts circa 1800-1815. 29/ 3 4", Width 21", Depth 17"

Our latest brochure #32 is now available at $6.00 per copy.

Established 1905

Co-publishers THE AMERICAN ART JOURNAL

15 EAST 57TH STREET, NEW YORK, N.Y. 10022

(212) PL3-6562

1


QAMERICAN ANTIQUESC&QUILTS 1022 LEXINGTON AVENUE, NEW YORK, N.Y.10021 PHONE:(212)YU 8-2906

Framed Center Crib Quilt. Cutout chintz with pieced and appliquĂŠ borders. Mid-19th Century. 41 x 41 inches. We are interested in purchasing rare crib and doll quilts. 2


THE CLAIION

Table of Contents /WINTER 1979 Cover: Child in a Green Dress by J. Bradley, oil on canvas, 33" x 26". This painting will be on view at the special preview hosted by Sotheby Parke Bernet, Inc., for members of the Museum of American Folk Art. For more information see pages 14 and 15. The Clarion Staff: Patricia L. Coblentz, Editor Jack T. Ericson, Book Review Editor Helaine Fendelman, Advertising Manager Ann Gold, Designer Topp Litho, Printers Change of Address Please send both old and new addresses and allow five weeks for change. The Clarion, America's Folk Art Magazine, Winter 1979. Published quarterly and copyright 1979 by the Museum of American Folk Art, 49 West 53rd Street, New York, New York 10019. The cover and contents of The Clarion are fully protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent. Unsolicited manuscripts or photographs should be accompanied by return postage. The Clarion assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage of such material. 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 responsibility 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 of the placing of the advertisement.

Letter from the Director Dr. Robert Bishop

5

The Woman Folk Artist in America C. Kurt Dewhurst, Betty MacDowell, Marsha MacDowell

18

Of Shade Cutters and Silhouettes E. Jane Townsend, History Researcher, Museums at Stony Brook, New York

26

Collecting—It's More Than a Tradition Karl Mendel

31

American Pillowcases Jack T. Ericson

34

Tribute to a Tradition: American Folk Art at The Cleveland Museum of Art 38 Gabriel P. Weisberg, Curator Department of Art History and Education,The Cleveland Museum of Art Noteworthy Events Quilts. .. and quilts; Patricia Newkirk,Past President, National Quilting Association Is Salmon W. Corwin the Gale Family Limner?; Emily Boyce Catalogue ofAmerican Portraits Being Compiled by the National Portrait Gallery Museum Receives Grantfrom Institute ofMuseum Services Black Folk Music Album Available Through the Library of Congress Williamsburg Antiques Forum Will Have New Format in 1979

41

Reports from the Museum Interns

45

Report on the Docent Committee

48

Coming Events at the Museum

49

The Museum Shop-Talk

50

Folk Art Calendar Across the Country

51

Book Reviews

52

Schedule of Museum Exhibitions

53

Index to Advertisers

60

3


Museum of American Folk Art BOARD OF TRUSTEES Officers Ralph Esmerian, Chairman Barbara Johnson, President Alice M. Kaplan,(Mrs. Jacob M.), Executive Vice President Lucy Danziger,(Mrs. Frederick M.), Vice President Jo Lauder,(Mrs. Ronald), Vice President Maureen Taylor,(Mrs. Richard), Vice President Frances Sirota Martinson, Esq., Secretary William I. Leffler, Treasurer Members Alice Burke,(Mrs. James E.) Catherine G. Cahill Phyllis D. Collins Adele Earnest Margery G. Kahn,(Mrs. Harry) Theodore H. Kapnek Ira Howard Levy Basil G. Mavroleon Cyril I. Nelson Kenneth R. Page, Esq. Karen S. Schuster,(Mrs. Derek) Andy Warhol William E. Wiltshire III Trustees Emeritus Marian W. Johnson,(Mrs. Dan R.) Louis C. Jones Jean Lipman,(Mrs. Howard) The Honorable Helen S. Meyner

4

Museum Staff: Dr. Robert Bishop, Director Patricia L. Coblentz, Assistant Director Laura Byers, Exhibition Coordinator Robin Harvey, Business Manager Dia Stolnitz, Museum Coordinator Lillian Grossman, Secretary Karen Schuster, Chairman, Friends Committee Deborah Yellin, Membership Secretary Docent Community Education Program: Lucy Danziger, Program Coordinator Susan Klein, Education Coordinator Cynthia Schaffner, Correspondence Coordinator Patrice Clareman,Public Relations Coordinator Priscilla Brandt and Dottie Kaufman, Membership and Book Coordinators Marie DiManno,Outreach Coordinator The Museum Shop Staff: Elizabeth Tobin, Manager Sylvia Bloch Kevin Bueche Sally Gerbrick Phillida Mirk Hazel Osborn Suzanne Stern


Letter from the Director

At the Annual Meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Museum of American Folk Art, held on September 21, 1978, three new members were elected to the Board. They are: Catherine Cahill of New York City, Margery Kahn of New York City, and Theodore Kapnek of Elkins Park, Pennsylvania. I know you will want to join me in welcoming them into our Museum family. In my last letter I announced that the Museum would commence expanded hours one evening a week. This additional exhibition time, which began on November 2, has been made possible by members of the Junior League of New York City who are staffing the Museum galleries on Thursday evenings from 5:30 to 8 P.M. Many members of the Junior League have already become involved with several other Museum programs, including our Docent Community Education Program currently being supervised by Lucy Danziger and Susan Klein. The fourth annual Manhattan House Tour, under the skillful leadership of Jana Klauer and Marilyn Glass, proved to be a resounding success. The handsome invitations and posters for this event were designed and executed by Ira Levy and Neal Davis of Estee Lauder, Inc. and made available as a gift to the Museum by that firm. We are most grateful for their continuing participation in our projects. At the special reception held at the offices of the Culbro Corporation immediately following the House Tour, several pairs of theatre tickets which had been donated by the producers of The Gin

Jana Klauer, Co-Chairman of the Annual House Tour, and Ernest Quick, volunteer-auctioneer, conferring prior to the auction of the antique quilt at the House Tour Reception.

Game, Dracula, I Love My Wife, Runaways, and Mummenschanz, were awarded to lucky ticket holders and a beautiful antique quilt, donated to the Museum of American Folk Art by the newlyappointed National Advisory Council chairwoman, Phyllis Haders, was auctioned to a House Tour participant. Many thanks to James Beard, Colette, Mr. and Mrs. John M. Fraser, Jr., Alford and Eliana Houstoun-Boswall, and Robert Mihalik, who so generously opened their homes to Tourists, and to the Culbro Corporation for permitting us to hold the reception in their corporate headquarters. Special gratitude should also be expressed to the Breadline Party Service which contributed the catering services, to the Cultured Seed for the handsome floral arrangements at the reception, and to Ernest Quick, VicePresident and Director of Catalogue Sales for American Heritage, who served as the skillful auctioneer for the autographed antique quilt.

In recognition of our continued expansion of exhibition and educational programs, substantial grants have been awarded by the New York State Council for the Arts for general operating expenses and in partial support of a forthcoming exhibition. In addition, the newly-established Institute for Museum Services, an agency of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, has awarded us a grant for general operating expenses. On September 27, 1978, the Museum of American Folk Art, in conjunction with the American Heritage Publishing Company, hosted a national press party to introduce its new line of folk art and antique reproductions. A catalogue to the entire collection of American Heritage reproductions, which features many pieces from the Museum's collection, can be obtained by writing The American Heritage Collection, 205 West Center Street, Marion, Ohio 43302.

The Development Committee and 5


Building Committee of the Board of Trustees continue to search for a permanent home. I am pleased to inform you that recent donations to the building fund have been made by the Estate of Recha Strauss and by The Sterling Fund and Fellowship Foundation. The exhibition schedule has never looked better and over the next several months I hope you will all attempt to attend our special preview parties for members. Building support for the Museum requires action from you. Please join your Trustees and staff by endorsing Museum programs through personal participation. Because of enthusiasm generated by our ever-growing educational programs and our new Clarion format, 15 members have increased their membership categories in the last several months. I would like to thank the people listed below for their enthusiastic support. In this and future issues of The Clarion we will publish the names of new members, thereby making you more aware of our growing family. Dr. Robert Bishop, Director

Special thanks to the following members who increased their categories when renewing their membership between July 1 and September 30, 1978: Leonard Balish, Englewood, New Jersey Susan Baten,White Plains, New York Arnold P. Bull, Bayside, New York Mr. and Mrs. Alvin Deutsch, New York City Mary J. Farkas, Detroit, Michigan Mr. Robert A.Finleys, Knoxville, Tennessee Mrs. Eugene Flamm,New York City Joseph H. Hennage, Washington,D.C. Ann Irwin, Garretsville, Pennsylvania Suzanne Klein,Berkeley,California Mrs. B.E. Merry, Searsport, Maine Judith Sagan, Chicago,Illinois Susan C. Sicher, New York City Charles G. Steele, Greenwich, Connecticut Mrs. D.S. Tomkies, Huntington,West Virginia

The Trustees and staff extend a very warm welcome to these new members who joined between July 1 and September 30, 1978: Frances Achilles, New York City Howard Barnstone, Houston,Texas Julia Baughman,New York City Ruth Berk, New York City Carl Bernstein, Washington, D.C.

6

Mrs. Thomas B. Blair, Winnetka, Illinois Karin Blake, Malibu,California Molly Blayney, New York City The Body Glove, Inc., New York City Mr. and Mrs. W. M.Bourne, New York City Doris M.Bowman,Alexandria, Virginia Linda Bronfman,Toronto, Ontario, Canada Barbara Brooks, New York City Mr. and Mrs. William Buckett, Honeoye Falls, New York Mrs. Peggy Caro, Scarsdale, New York Mr. and Mrs. John A.Coghlan, Jr., West New York, New Jersey Ms. Mary Ann Crenshaw, New York City Mrs. John H.Culbertson, Morristown, New Jersey Sharron Adele Curran,Palm Springs, California Deborah Davis, New York City Mr. and Mrs. Richard K.Deer, New Carlisle, Indiana Gail Dennis, Alexandria, Virginia James S. DeSilva, Jr., LaJolla, California Mrs. Marie E. DeVerter, Bird In Hand, Pennsylvania Jeffrey Dodge, New York State Peggy A. Dunlop,Brooktondale, New York Barbara B.Dunn,Weston, Massachusetts Susan S. Earle, New York City Sherry Edelman, New York City E. Duane Elbert, Lerna, Illinois Joan Erbe,Baltimore, Maryland Suzanne Feldman, New York City Beverly Field Interiors, Dallas, Texas Joe Field, New York City Richard Field, Crapaud,P.E.I., Canada Mrs. Robert J. Filderman, Houston,Texas Ethel Fishman,Brooklyn, New York Betsy Flynn, New York City The Folk Art Studio, Davidson, North Carolina Carolyn Friedman,Bloomington,Indiana Howard K.Friedman,Summit,New Jersey E. Alvin Gerhardt, Jr.,Piney Flats, Tennessee Sam and Selma Goldwitz, New York City Irene Goodkind, New York City Elizabeth Gotoff,Cambridge, Massachusetts Carole J. Gottschalk, New York City Marie Gottshall, Womelsdorf,Pennsylvania Donna Gould, New York City Helen Granger, New York City Catherine Greene, New York City Joyce Halpern, New York City Heather E. Hamilton, Greenwich,Connecticut Jeannette Harris, New York City Louise Hartwell, New York City Lorianne Holden,Brooklyn, New York Mr. and Mrs. David S. Howe, New York City Ann R. Huntoon, Ridgefield, Connecticut Mariana Hyland, New York City F.C. Jacobson, Sheboygan,Wisconsin Jerry Jeanmard, Houston,Texas Wm. Mitchell Jennings, Jr., New York City Gwen Kade, New York City Marjorie R.Kaplan,Philadelphia,Pennsylvania Irene Kapner,Staten Island, New York Dana Kenneally, Fairfield, Connecticut Jonathan and Jacqueline King, Ridgewood, New Jersey Karen Kinnane, Boonton, New Jersey Mary Victoria Klestinec, New York City Rose Labrie,Portsmouth, New Hampshire Lapham and Sibble Gallery,Inc., Shoreham, Vermont Wendy Lavitt, New York City Robert K.Lewis, New York City Phyllis MacNeil, M.D.,Pepperell, Massachusetts

Mary McCarty, New York City Janlee McComas,Dallas,Texas Samuel McDowell,Ocean City, New Jersey Mike McHenry,Orange,California Eric Makler,Philadelphia,Pennsylvania Ann Marcus, New York City Jane Maurer, New York City Nancy S. Mead, Richmond, Virginia Dr. and Mrs. James D. Meltzer, New York City Dixon Merkt, Guilford,Connecticut Susan F. Metcalf, New York City Virginia Miller, Miami,Florida Mrs. Herbert G. Mills, Houston,Texas Donald Morris Gallery,Birmingham, Michigan Jean M.Muiznieks, Cranbury, New Jersey Eric and Cherly Nebbia, Middleburgh, New York Sallie Nelson,Brooklyn, New York Harold I. Nemuth,M.D., Richmond, Virginia Sue Niggeman, Kentfield, California Diana Niles, New York City K.C.O'Connor, Irvington, New York Mr. and Mrs. Aaron S.Pope, Lake Worth, Florida Charlie Putnam,Clifton Park, New York Dorothy Read-Home, Nova Scotia, Canada Janet Reed, New York City Paula Renfro, New York City Gretchen Rennell, New York City Holly P. Richardson, New York City Malcolm A. Rogers, Jr., Riverhead, New York Stella Rubin, Gaithersburg, Maryland Errol Rudman, New York City Dr. R.Savin, Woodbridge, Connecticut David A.Schorsch, Greenwich, Connecticut Linda Schrader, New York City Diantha D. Schull, Laurens, New York Lois0.Sechehay, Chatham, New Jersey Martin E.Segal, New York City Mitzi Shalit, Bala Cynwyd,Pennsylvania Elizabeth Estes Shepp, New York City Dr. Jeffrey M. Silbert, Miami,Florida Doris C. Silver, Brooklyn, New York Marion Silverstein, New York City Mrs.Frank A. Sinkler, Bay Village, Ohio Ralph Lee Smith, Washington, D.C. James Snyder, Reinholds,Pennsylvania Phillip Snyder, New York City Irene Soffer, New York City Cathy Somer, New York City Micheline Steinmetz, Clifton, New Jersey Jay R. Stiefel, Philadelphia,Pennsylvania Trish Taylor,Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Eleanor P. Vasso, Stamford,Connecticut Jean Wainwright, Woodside, New York Pamela Wallace, Hopewell, New Jersey Letitia D.Weise, Catonsville, Maryland Susan Whiting, Brooklyn, New York Anne Colamusca Wohnan, New York City Mrs. Michael S. Woodard,Lyme Center, New Hampshire Louise S. Young, New York City


CHARLES L.FLINT at Crazy Horse DEALER IN QUALITY SHAKER - GOOD PAINTED COUNTRY- FOLK ART Box 88, Main St., Lenox, Mass. 01240

Call 413-637-1634 or 413-243-9835

L

• ,

0

• ••

Unique Shaker Apothecary & Herb Hutch Attributed to Enfield, N.H., ca. 1840-50 Size is 54"w. X 70"h. X 18"d. - (35" work h.) This magnificent piece of furniture is the only one of its type. One of the finest pieces of Shaker we have ever seen.

7


New York City's Full-Service ,Lluction Gallery Auctions on Alternate Wednesdays,at 10 a.m. American, English & Continental Antiques, Works of Art

Please refer to our ads on Sunday in The New York Times Auction section, for exact dates and comprehensive listing.

8


LIBERTY HEAD Zinc 19" high 19th Century American

H.& G.Diamant 115 West 73 Street• New York, N.Y.10023 (212)362-2552 By Appointment

An examplefrom our large collection offine American Folk Art

9


After you've seen the current ARTISTS IN APRONS exhibition, you'll want to own this book.

Artists in Aprons Folk Art by American Women

by C. Kurt Dewhurst, Betty MacDowell, & Marsha MacDowell Introductory Note by Joan Mondale Foreword by Agnes Halsey Jones Rarely have women folk artists been recognized for the importance of their contribution to the history of American art. This first book on the subject shows splendidly the many wonderful pieces by women folk artists in America, and evaluates their contribution in depth. The book also includes brief biographies of many of the artists. The full range of folk art, all known to have been done by women, is included in 26 color plates and 152 black-and-white illustrations: drawings, embroideries, watercolors, oil paintings, and quilts. "Artists in Aprons is the story of American art as it was practiced by women in their homes . . . Their work is a marvelous legacy of formal invention, but just as wonderful is the spirit that these works embody."—JOAN MONDALE

Available at bookstores $9.95, paperbound $16.95, cloth

(DUTTON) 2 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10016

A 10


Sotheby Parke Bernet•NewYork Founded 1744

The leading firm of art auctioneers & appraisers in the world

PREEMINENT IN AUCTIONS OF AMERICAN FOLK ART Outstanding collections sold at Sotheby Parke Bernet include:

EDGAR WILLIAM and BERNICE CHRYSLER GARBISCH EDITH GREGORY HALPERT CHANNING HARE WILLIAM E. WILTSHIRE III

and on January 27, 1979

THE DISTINGUISHED COLLECTION OF THE LATE STEWART E. GREGORY, WILTON, CONNECTICUT

For further information, write or call Mrs. Nancy Druckman, 212/472-3511 A fine watercolor portrait of a young boy by R. W. and S. A. Shute, probably Massachusetts, 14 x 18/ circa 1835. 27/ 1 2 inches. Sold at Sotheby Parke Bernet in April, 1978 for $42,500

SOTHEBY PARKE BERNET INC

980 MADISON AVENUE

NEW YORK 10021

11 212/472-3400


Josiah-Sage House

"Corner House"

Circa 1800's Colonial, 50 ac, brook, barn, 2 stenciled rooms, fplcs, 4-5 BR; near Tanglewood Jacob's Pillow; 2'/2hrs NYC ref: p. 205 LipmanWinchester's AMERICAN FOLK ART.

Circa 1790 Colonial; only 3 owners, center halls, fplc's, old mantles, 12 rooms, att. 6 room guest hse, superb views, 14 acres, barn, in historic Norfolk, Ct. By appt. Asking $275,000

Hamlett Hill Farm

Superb country farm-estate of 394 acres, extraordinary views and privacy, tennis court, pond, dairy farm operation (optional), beautiful 1700's brick Colonial, studio, carriage barns, 3 other residences, superb buy and long term investment: Asking $1,250,000. IN SALISBURY CT. 2/ 1 4 hrs NYC Above properties shown by appointment only. BROCHURES AVAILABLE Colonials and other fine country properties located in Northwest corner of Conn.,& the Berkshires of Mass.

Robinson Leech, Jr. Realtor Main office-Lakeville, Ct. 203-435-9891

Jana Klauer, Associate Norfolk res. 203-542-5360 wkends NYC res. 212-288-8667 wkdays

Arthur & Cynthia White,assoc. Hotchkiss School(res)

Robinson Leech Assoc., Realtors Box 424 Lakeville, Conn. 06039 (203)435-9891 REALTOR s 12


Be seated at the source.

Kelter-Malth 361 Bleecker Street New York City 10014 in historic Greenwich Village (212) 989-6760 Tues-Sat 12-8 13


MAFA MEMBERS SpecialPrivatePreview for

Membersofthe Museum of American Folk Art

Carved and painted wood figure of a race tout, attributed to Charles Dowler, Providence, Rhode Island, circa 1870, H. 6'4".

TheStewart E.Gregory Collection of American Folk Artand Furniture Wednesday,January 24,1979 6to8P.M. 980 Madison Avenue New York City Hors D'oeuvres and Cocktails Hosted by Sotheby Parke Bernet Inc. and Museum of American Folk Art Admission by advance reservation only Members only Call the Museum office by Monday, January 22,1979

Miniature watercolor portrait of Hannah Gibson Flint, probably by Rufus Porter, New England, circa 1820, 3 3/8" x 2%", one of a pair.

Portrait of a Child by John Brewster, Jr. (1766 1854), oil on canvas. 38" x 25 1/8".

Hooked rug, American, 30" x 62".


The Distinguished Collection of the Late STEWART E. GREGORY Wilton, Connecticut IMPORTANT AMERICAN FOLK ART AND FURNITURE Auction • Saturday • January 27 at 10:15 am and 2 pm Illustrated catalogue $12, order by sale no. 4209 with check enclosed to Sotheby Parke Bernet Dept. CF

Sotheby Parke Bernet • New York Founded 1744 The leading firm of the world 980 MADISON AVENUE

art auctioneers Sr appraisers in NEW YORK 10021 212/472-3400

The standard commission charged to Sellers is 10%. All property sold is subject to a premium of 10% payable by all buyers as part of the purchase price.

15


Paul L. Ackerman Antiques Main St. Rockport, Maine 04856 Phone: 207-236-4832

10626 Main St. Clarence, N.Y. 15 miles east of Buffalo, on Rte. 5

Watercolor Port Painting, ca. 1880 32½" x 223 / 4" incl. frame Crisp Condition

MULESKINNER ANTIQUES

716 759-2661 716 759-2495 Ronald Korman, prop. photo-R. Ley

Hollow bodied copper weathervane with cast iron head and old brownish mustard paint. 30" long. New England origin. 16


Two Schimmel eagles of superb quality. The larger figure (twelve and one-half inches high) is black, and the smaller eagle (seven inches high), mustard with red and black details. Both in completely original condition.

GEORGE E. SCHOELLKOPF 1065 Madison Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10028

(212)879-3672

Tuesday through Saturday, 10-5

Superior examples ofAmerican Folk Art. Country and Country-lama!Furniture

JOEL and KATE KOPP

iiuBj EAST 70th St

101 6'iNEW 31 YORK,10021

Walt 212 535-1930 *

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

*

:7 1is

*

*

*

*

EN1• --J— „

4

04/7/t,e

* 4 —7tzw cr;

°file

gn' 4 '

Wik

4t

CRADLE QUILT—PENNSYLVANIA CIRCA 1875

American Quilts and Textiles,Primitive Paintings and Folk Art


'X) .-.


Special Exhibition at the Museum ofAmerican Folk Art January16 to April 29,1979

THE WOMAN FOLK ARTIST IN AMERICA C.Kurt Dewhurst, Betty MacDowell, Marsha MacDowell

tt he Woman Folk Artist in TAmerica" pays tribute, long overdue, to the indomitable creative spirit persistently powerful and productive among American women since the early Colonial era to the present day. It provides abundant evidence of the innate artistry and accomplishments of women folk artists by focusing attention upon a number of those whose names are known. The recognition accorded these women is intended to reflect as well upon those countless unrecorded women who have given us a precious legacy through their art. Although often confronted by almost insurmountable barriers to the making of art, women in America have nonetheless always managed to find their own pathways of artistic creativity, most of which were in harmony with the domestic routines required of their roles as wives, mothers, and homemakers.

and expertise possessed by almost all women from early childhood until aging fingers could no longer guide the needle Figure 1. Bed Rug by Philena McCall, natural or failing eyesight was unable to follow wool foundation with cut pile, 1802, Lebanon, Connecticut, 101"x 92".(Wadsworth Atheneum) the stitches. Moreover, the making of sculpture usually requires special space, Opposite: Figure 2. Sampler by LoAnn Smith, satin and cross stitch, 1785, Providence, a work area or "room of one's own,' 2 x 11 3/4".(Rhode Island Rhode Island, 141/" which was a luxury denied to most School of Design) women throughout much of our country's history. In addition, such activity demands concentrated, uninterrupted The demands made upon their time stretches of time and effort and is often and energies, together with the expecta- accompanied by noise and clutter. tions and limitations imposed upon Needlework, on the other hand, like women by society, necessarily dictated drawing or pastel and watercolor paintthe directions that their art forms would ing, could be accomplished quietly and follow. It is no accident that sculpture unobtrusively in a mere corner of the by women folk artists is almost non- kitchen, while a woman kept an eye on existent or that examples of needlework the kettle and the children or during artistry abound. The former required those brief snatches of time after housethe use of tools and techniques not hold chores were done and little ones normally employed by women, whereas had been tucked into bed. If interrupthe latter involved the very equipment tions occurred, such work could easily 19


Figure 3. "First, Second and Last Scene of Mortality" by Prudence Punderson Rossiter, crimped silk floss on satin with ink, 1783, Preston, Connecticut, 12 5/8" x 16 11/16".(Connecticut Historical Society)

be put aside and later resumed when convenient moments again arrived. During the dawn of the Colonial era, a woman's hours and energies were devoted primarily to insuring the survival of her family. Nevertheless, even under the harsh and demanding conditions of those years, women brightened their homes and lives by using the needlework necessary to their existence as their artistic medium. For her bed, the most prominent and prized piece of furniture in her home, the Colonial woman created colorful textiles such as embroidered quilts, crewel-worked bed hangings, and bed rugs. These last, meant to simulate imported bed covers, were thick and heavy spreads worked in dyed wools on a woven wool or linen foundation. Most makers of bed rugs were mature 20

women who first spent long hours in the hands demonstrating their mastery of preparation of the materials required a respectable repertoire of stitches and then months, sometimes years, and, hence, the maker's readiness for in the production of the rug itself. the responsibilities of womanhood. The Wielding needle and yarns in place of earliest known American sampler was brush and paints, women produced completed in 1640 by Loara Standish, superb designs that provided both physi- the young daughter of Pilgrim leader cal warmth and visual delight. A striking Miles Standish. The components of example of the artistry to be found in most samplers were fairly standard, these practical home furnishings is the consisting of pictorial elements, alphabed rug completed in 1802 by Philena bets, verses and the maker's name or McCall of Lebanon, Connecticut, Figure initials and date of completion. However, 1. Just as a painter might sign a canvas, within these conventional limitations, the proud artist included her initials the individual sampler-maker worked out and date of completion within the her own design solution to produce a distinctive variation of the general forbold and colorful design. Another almost universal form of mat. An especially appealing example needlework in America during the 17th is the sampler completed in 1785 by and 18th centuries was the embroidered young LoAnn Smith, a student at Miss sampler, usually the product of young Polly Balch's school in Providence,


Rhode Island, Figure 2. At such seminaries, girls like LoAnn were instructed in the genteel arts and trained to be proper, obedient, and accomplished young ladies. The sentiments expressed in many samplers attest to the role that they played in the socialization of their young creators. One sampler-maker embroidered this revealing verse within her design: "Behold when I try, My needle can vie, With my pen and pencil to prove. My very fond wish, Is centered in this; To gain my dear parents your Perhaps the most original and moving example of needlework artistry executed in 18th-century America is the embroidered picture entitled, "First, Second and Last Scene of Mortality," created by Prudence Punderson of Preston, Connecticut, sometime prior to 1783, the year in which she married Dr. Timothy Wells Rossiter, Figure 3. In her visual meditations upon life's fleeting stages, the maker of this unusual piece, stitched in silk upon satin, depicted her infancy, young womanhood, and death in a single, composite scene that is quite unlike any other known work in this or other mediums. The tradition of needlework art established by American women during the 17th and 18th centuries, through the creation of such items as bed rugs, samplers, and embroidered pictures, has continued to flourish throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, although with modifications. In place of bed rugs, women of the last century plied their needles in the production of quilts and floor coverings. Samplers all but disappeared and embroidered scenes declined, as education for girls was strengthened to equal that for boys. Quilts, fashioned from shaped pieces of fabric into geometric or biomorphic designs, were especially popular, and cooperative quilt-making inaugurated that widespread 19th-century American institution, the "quilting bee." Although quilt-makers often used traditional patterns, their individual choices of fabric and color combinations insured that no two quilts could be alike. Quilt artists such as Susan McCord of McCordsvine, Indiana, were renowned in their

Figure 4. "Vine Quilt" by Susan McCord, pieced and appliqued cotton, circa 1845, McCordsville, Indiana,80" x 76".(Greenfield Village and Henry Ford Museum)

own communities for the superlative quilts that they made, Figure 4. Susan McCord's quilts are dazzling displays of technical virtuosity and design excellence. Her accomplishments become all the more remarkable when one learns that she, like countless other 19th-century women on America's western frontier, helped her husband with the farm chores, raised a large family, milked cows, kept chickens, made butter and soap, canned fruits and vegetables from her garden, used her knowledge of medicinal herbs to treat her family's and neighbors' ailments, read her Bible through yearly, and went to church regularly. Women such as she, weighed down with heavy domestic duties, have persevered in their determination to find outlets for their artistic impulses and release for the

frustrations of their difficult lives. As one quilt-maker expressed it: "All my joys and all my sorrows are stitched into those little pieces.... I tremble sometimes when I remember what that quilt knows about me."3 Although quilt-making activity reached its peak in the 19th century, its revival in the 1930s and the recent renewed interest in the art have resulted in many superb quilts dating from this century, several of which are included in the exhibition. In addition to needlework, women folk artists in America have employed various other media for their artistic pursuits. With pencil, pen and ink, watercolors, pastels, oil paints, and even scissors and paper, women have produced portraits, still-lifes, landscapes, mourning pictures, fracturs, Shaker spirit 21


.14:1

).1.0Y;t jit

Figure 5. "Memorial for Herself" by Eunice Pinney, watercolor, circa 1813, New England, 13 1/8" x 16". (New York State Historical Association)

22


drawings, literary, Biblical and genre scenes. Much of this art was created by schoolgirls in those same seminaries where so many samplers originated, but older women also enjoyed using these avenues of artistry. Most women folk artists engaged in picture-making for the personal satisfaction that it afforded them and their limited audience of family and friends; other women, although self-taught, became "professionals" in that they sold their work to support themselves and their dependents. Notable among those women who produced art purely for pleasure was Eunice Pinney of Simsbury, Connecticut, whose watercolor paintings are filled with vigor and self-confidence. Pinney, twice married and the mother of five, was typical of those women who successfully combined picture. making with home-making. Although her usual subject matter was the genre scene, often based upon an engraved print, she also painted several mourning pictures, a type of scene especially popular in the early 19th century. First inspired by Washington's death in 1799, mourning pictures were produced in great number to commemorate fallen heroes or departed loved ones. Pinney's "Memorial for Herself" shows the artist's grieving family gathered by her own tombstone with the date of her death left unrecorded, Figure 5. Until the late 19th century, even those women willing to forego marriage and a family for the sake of art found it difficult, often impossible, to obtain the necessary academic training since they were excluded from anatomy and life drawing classes on the grounds that their presence would be "unseemly" according to the tenets of "true womanhood" that prevailed. The social barriers raised against women becoming trained professional artists undoubtedly deterred many young women from making serious commitments to art. Those few who bravely ventured into the field, such as sculptor Harriet Hosmer and painter Mary Cassatt, were well aware of the difficulties that they faced and often chose to remain single. Nevertheless, in spite of their lack of opportunity for training, a number

of women, compelled by determination and their natural creativity, taught themselves the basic skills and earned their livelihoods as artists. One such woman was Deborah Goldsmith, an itinerant limner or portrait artist, who traveled from town to town in search of paying patrons, with whom she lived while she captured their likenesses in watercolor, Figure 6. In her early twenties, Goldsmith undertook her career in order to support her aged parents, a praiseworthy motive that shielded her from possible social disapproval. Her portraits record not only the features of her sitters but often also the dress and furnishings of the early 19th century. Goldsmith's wander-years ended with her marriage to the son of a patron. Her artistic output soon declined and was terminated by her untimely death at the age of 27. Also represented in the exhibition are other women folk artists who sold their work, among them Martha Ann Honeywell, paper cut-out artist; Mary Ann Willson, watercolorist; Susan Waters, limner in oils; and the little-known pair, Mrs. R. W. Shute and S. A. Shute, who collaborated on many portraits in both oil and watercolor. By the end of the 19th century, women had entered into many professions, including the field of fine art. In the art academies, numerous women were receiving the full training needed for professional art careers. Even then, however, there were still those women, as there are today, whose personal circumstances prevented them from acquiring technical instruction but who nonetheless became remarkable artists because of their innate ability and inner compulsion to create. Noteworthy among present-day self-taught artists is Fannie Lou Spelce of Austin, Texas, whose life until her retirement was filled with the responsibilities of marriage, motherhood, and her nursing career. Not until her late fifties did she attempt to paint her memories of her early years in the Ozarks. Spelce's intuitive sense of color and design has directed her output of scenes from her past, including the nostalgic "Quilting Bee," Figure 7. Still another contempor23


Figure 6. "Husband and Wife" by Deborah Goldsmith, watercolor on paper, circa 1820, New England, 6" x 4 3/4". (New York State Historical Association)

ary artist whose personal experiences denied her the opportunity for training but who nevertheless has evolved her own distinctive surreal style is Minnie Evans of Wilmington, North Carolina. Born in 1892, Evans worked as first a domestic servant and then a gatekeeper for many years. Her curious and colorful designs contain visionary images derived from both nature and her beloved Book of Revelations, Figure 8. Speaking of the subconscious element in her creative process, Evans has said: "I had day visions—they would take advantage of 24

me" and "something had my hand."4 "The Woman Folk Artist in America" hails the extent and excellence of the art produced by our country's women since the 17th century to the present day. Through both their art and their valiant perseverance to create in spite of all obstacles, these known women folk artists, together with an untold number of anonymous women, have left us a precious legacy that provides us with visible links to the past, visual pleasure for the present, and a valuable source of inspiration for those women

who will carry on the tradition of folk artistry in the years to come.

FOOTNOTES 1. An expression first employed by Virginia Woolf in her essay, A Room of One's Own, (New York: Harcourt Brace 8c Company, 1929), which explains women's limited creative output as resulting from their lack of personal space and time. 2. Ethel Stanwood Bolton and Eva Johnston Coe, American Samplers (New York: Dover Publications, 1973), p. 273.


Figure 7. "Quilting Bee" by Fannie Lou Spelce, oil on canvas, 1968, Austin,Texas, 28" x 38". (The Spelce Family Collection) Figure 8. "Green Animal" by Minnie Evans, crayon, before 1961,Wilmington, North Carolina, 9" x 11 5/8".(Nina Howell Starr)

3. Marguerite Ickis, The Standard Book of Quilt Making and Collecting (New York: Dover Publications, 1960), p. 270. 4. Nina Howell Starr, Minnie Evans (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1975), pp. 1-2. Editors Note: The special exhibition, "The Woman Folk Artist in America," assembled by guest curators, C. Kurt Dewhurst and Marsha MacDowell, is accompanied by a 224 page, profusely illustrated catalogue, Artists in Aprons, written by C. Kurt Dewhurst, Betty MacDowell, and Marsha MacDowell, and published by E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc. It is available through The Museum Shop.

25


Of Shade Cutters and Silhouettes E.Jane Townsend,History Researcher Museums at Stony Brook,New York

B

efore the days of Polaroids and Kodaks, the instamatic of the early 1800s was the "shade cutter," the silhouette artist who cut one's likeness almost instantly. He was a familiar figure of the early 19th century going from town to town, like any itinerant tradesman, to "execute profiles in a superior style." Some, like the former French army officer Charles Baltazar Fevret de Saint-Memin, who arrived in New York in 1793 at the beginning of the silhouette's popularity, and Augustin Edouart (1788-1861), another French exile, active in America from 1839 to 1845, achieved longlasting fame. Today their silhouettes are highly valued. Edouart did his cut and paste silhouettes against a painted or lithographed background that invariably was the sitter's milieu and statement of his interests and activities. He worked the fashionable spa at Saratoga Springs and did many silhouettes of leading citizens, including four Presidents of the United States. His output of some 3500 silhouettes is a Who's Who of mid-19th century American notables. William Henry Brown (1808-1883),

26

originally from Charleston, South Carolina, executed cut and paste silhouettes in the south and northeast, Figures 1, 2, 3, and 4. He was active in the Berkshires and in the Hudson and Connecticut River valleys in the early 1840s and, like Edouart, was patronized by the important and wealthy. By 1849 Edouart was back in Europe, but Brown continued doing silhouettes until 1859. For most shade cutters, however, fame was short-lived; success meant doing a brisk business in one town for a week to several months before moving on to the next place. The shade cutters promised "correct likenesses" at popular prices—prices everyman America could afford. Thomas P. Jones was one of these. On September 24, 1805, he placed a notice in the Albany (N.Y.) Register assuring the public that " their Profiles shall be correct, and more elegantly and neatly cut than any that have been heretofore done in the city." His price was 25 cents for four profiles and $2 for coloring, Figure 5. Jones, probably from the Schenectady area, later sold his profile machine to Louis Lemet (1799-1832), a partner at one time of Saint-Memin. Lemet worked in New

Figure 1. Silliouette of William Caldwell, signed "W.H. Brown," circa 1840. Caldwell was a well-known Albany merchant.(Courtesy of Albany Institute of Art and History)

York City in 1804 but by 1805 had moved on to Albany. At first he did likenesses on engraved plates which at $25 for the plate and 12 impressions was relatively expensive (gentlemen were charged $25; ladies, $35). Once he had


Counterclockwise from top left: Figure 2. Silhouette of T. Romeyn Beck, signed "W. H.Brown," circa 1840. Beck (1791-1855) was physician and educator, principal of the Albany Academy and Albany Medical College, and founder of the New York State Library and Albany Insane Asylum.(Courtesy of Albany Institute of Art and History) Figure 3. Silhouette of Henry W. Stevens of Hartford, Connecticut, signed "William H. Brown." The steeple of Trinity Church is visible through the open window.(Courtesy of Litchfield Historical Society) Figure 4. Silhouette of Joel Munsell. Although unsigned, it is similar in style to W.H. Brown's work. Munsell was chronicler of Annals of Albany. He is depicted standing on Jefferson Street, Albany, with the dome of the state building in the background.(Courtesy of Albany Institute of Art and History)

the Physiognotrace, or profile machine, and could mechanically trace the profile on white paper, cut the hollow out and mount it on a dark cloth or paper background to get what we commonly call the hollowcut silhouette, he could charge the standard 25 cents. Competing with Lemet in 1809 in Albany was an R. Letton, proprietor of the city's museum of natural curiosities and wax figures. At the same

time, he took profiles in the museum for a shilling per seating. If printed in colors, they cost $1.50 apiece. Albany, advantageously located at the head of the Hudson and with a population of 9,356, was a bustling city and probably could well support two profile cutters. One wonders, however, how itinerants fared when more than one appeared on the scene in the same village. This

happened in Cooperstown, a bucolic farming village on Lake Otsego, New York, in 1808. Timothy Gladding put a notice in the Otsego Herald of July 30, 1808-August 16, 1808, for doing profiles "in a very superior style of perfection," using the new Physiognotrace, "superior to all other instruments ... for tracing the human features." A. Janes advertised in the July 29, 1808, edition of the same paper that he did profiles "in a superior

27


style of perfection by a new invented Patent machine, superior to all others for tracing the human features." Neither stayed long in Cooperstown. It is not known where A. Janes next plied his trade, but Gladding (c. 1775-1846), thought to have been born in Bristol, Rhode Island, traveled to Albany where

P

0 F I I, le,

%.„

JON PS rf;6r111,t the'! arrd 7.r.nntlenien of Alh:my mut It..

i4reols.

e1k' it 13,1131 t.3.4.311C 11. 1

1‘,

't

13

Figure 5. Notice of silhouettist Thomas P. Jones in Albany Register, September 24,1805.(Courtesy of Albany State Library) Figures 6 and 7. Silhouettes by Gladding. (M.L.Phelps family papers, New York State Library at Albany)

28

he joined his brother, J. Gladding, in a decorative sign and ornamental painting business. They advertised as coach, sign, and ornamental painters, gilders and glaziers. They also claimed: "profiles cut, painted and gilt on glass." Younger brother Timothy did the profiles and some, embossed "Gladding" or "T. Gladding," survive today. One, cut in 1808, is of Catherine Sanders of Schenectady, New York, daughter of John Sanders, a prominent politician and businessman. It was found in the Beekman Family Papers, now at The New-York Historical Society. Charles E. Baker in "The Study of Two Silhouettes" in New York History (Vol. 31, Oct. 1947) tells the charming story of how this silhouette was taken. When John Sanders was entertaining KishKau-Kou, the chief of the Chippewas of Saginaw, Michigan, for some trade venture, the chief fell in love with Catherine and wanted to marry her. Instead of getting her for his wife, he had to settle for her silhouette. Gladding cut it. In exchange, the chief's silhouette was done by T. P. Jones and given to Catherine. Two years later Catherine married Gerald Beekman of New York, and 20 years later Catherine's brother saw his sister's silhouette at the Saginaw

trading post and was able to retrieve it for the Sanders/Beekman family for a quart of whiskey! Timothy Gladding continued to do silhouettes for at least another two years. Four silhouettes, stamped Gladding, were recently found among the papers of the M.L.Phelps family in the New York State Library at Albany. The manuscripts are the business and family documents of Philip Phelps (1789-1876), one time deputy comptroller of Albany. The silhouettes, of three women and one man, are not identified nor dated, Figures 6 and 7. No further advertisements for T. and J. Gladding appear in the Albany press after September 1810. Their house painting and decorative business flourished, however, and was well known in Albany. Perhaps Timothy stopped doing silhouettes when he found interest in them declining as more people could afford having their portrait painted. Gladding painted a few portraits, as did his son, Timothy Gladding, Jr. The portrait, "Boy With Dog," by T. Gladding, was shown at the Museum of American Folk Art in the special exhibition, "The All-American Dog: Man's Best Friend in Folk Art." It is not certain which of the two T. Gladdings painted it.


Silhouette art was on the wane when William James Hubard appeared on the scene in Albany in 1825 and with promotion techniques anticipating the best of today's PR staged a happening. William James was the celebrated "Master Hubard," and the public was urged to see his whole gallery of cuttings, hear a 206-piece concert played by one machine and to have his own profile cut by the master silhouettist himself. The Master, a child prodigy from England "discovered" at age 13 by the Duchess of Kent, arrived in New York City in 1824 at 17 years of age. The young silhouettist opened a gallery on Broadway where customers could have a bust or fulllength likeness taken and finished in a variety of treatments from half bronzing to "highly finished." The gallery was mirrored, comfortably heated, and brilliantly lighted. Since it was open in the evenings, it became a fashionable evening promenade. And business was good, so good in fact that those wishing to have a full-length figure or likeness "highly fmished in Bronze" (instead of just a bust) were advised to place their order ahead of time. By the following summer, Hubard and his manager, a Mr. Smith, were ready to take the show on the road, Figure 8.

MONDAY NEXT WILL BE

fHautrr WubatliffS LAST DAT. A C4e

GA L.

\ k erc,irr

itaT,

ERY.;OCCOTTMG-s.

tf .. NI8,1. 84 81,r mom 9 h. It k ‘1 , I. k,* %I- NI ,G 14.0% ‘ , 401,.., the, P.1.% I.L.1104(,0 icras p rk) is. iir 41r eta4 Relfart. Stt neer r''. ••-• .•'el Clr. the 'I u* 4.4nrportmorp, asylia,N1.s• , t.. for 8644 b etch maim to 4./.; _ Aciort fed areas, :14.• P41114 gift/Ok71111,kg, are she 1.11111111T; 0:‘ op CI 1T' a..10. kVA, * a OW/Vet taii.eskrios. h Alamrsu la grill cr.narcreds S.-0.sook„ ftithou N'a.14 A.*, at IAN) kin:Iola, NW.. set.t.rhug the r ill flu yr as 11..lnr, ha b pr lege of r..‘uree bj p illettg; or ttj k1430 - fl 1. or

Figure 8. Advertisement for one of Master Hubard's last appearances in Albany, Albany Argus, August 27, 1825. (Courtesy of Albany State Library)

111lit

arconIi.:(111*.(t bv the celow es nly .114 (he introecliat. 1i4)1 1,1 ss ), thy '‘,811:Itir 0'1.1 AV in • in in 1, a few .1a) A /11) hr V11.)\ I. tAct-tvrei e + at; NtLtttt et Atik( • ,N1 etey eet the le, Vt I (114 C tAt I Ill t ISI CS t,i h.t e t't ki. GIC ; OlCil Al CO t-1 jtIti &C .11.ii re t)41 their retor., !ti A pf r "e, ()ray eoppot(1enr: ei ; ad. If tit.; ttt, One:Hien:4 a Ureic ... cut ... ,1 .‘. -IL:41.0,1w, anti see.11,1 .. 1 el , by .N1.te,ter 11,teek.,) I ei. .im. e..., r t t .......„ tamely etA... ets.t th. t,c haft pla,te , r e .. ite tee A. Fr i /lAt II ttru. lu ,,1 1. P ICO.,,r1., i ..,

I

r

Figure 9. Advertisement for Master Hankes's Gallery of Cuttings,Albany Argus, October 18, 1830.(Courtesy of Albany State Library)

29


.% LH

'!•

EI

.np-er 'e^ te4 Na!! Coseentestei AtIrsn er! 1wrek--The propr!. Iciug the sttyaz!! e 'ee!ot.r, roe t a! Mr. Mee LE KV,Likevetse, tos, thereat pet. sod 'Mesa roma V east, the colt hr!!!ed ,SEL1,1:!. Marer runointr. los! 1, r every engaged youth tern art:h !tit a911111..ho ss day and craning thLe tlepresent salty.my Evefung al..aarof ..seh piett•tire m arm

Figure 10. Advertisement for Master Nellis, Albany Argus,December 1, 1834.(Courtesy of Albany State Library)

On August 16, 1825, Hubard was in Albany and the first of several notices appeare.d in the Albany Argus: "Hubard Gallery of Cuttings, Union of the PAPYROTOMIA AND PANHARMONICON At Knickerbocker Hall, Albany. The PAPYROTOMIA is a splendid collection of CUTTINGS in PAPER in the production of MASTER HUBARD, A boy who possesses the peculiar faculty of delineating every object of Nature or Art, simply with a Pair of common Scissors." It was explained that the Panharmonicon was a wonderful musical mechanism that would give a concert on 206 instruments. Before Hubard 30

arrived, the mechanism, combining the 206 instruments on 109 keys, was featured alone in 2-hour concerts divided into 12 parts and each requiring a change of direction and winding up of the clock mechanism. The August 12, 1825, Albany Argus declared that the panharmonicon united qualities of a "full . .. field band ... with a theatrical orchestra." For an audience in 1825, or probably at any time for that matter, the curiosity of hearing such a thing was hard to resist. With Hubard's arrival, the gallery of cuttings added new dimensions of entertainment. As a further attraction, the 50-cent admission fee included having one's profile cut by Hubard. Doubtless the Evening Promenades at Hubard's Gallery, offering Mozart, Hayden—and Hubard—competed favorably with the Albany theatre season where The Robbers (a tragedy) and The Wedding (a comedy) were the double bill. At any event, Master Hubard extended his stay in Albany twice. Hubard stayed in Albany about six weeks. Meanwhile his gallery in New York closed. By December he was located in Boston, the notice for his gallery being almost identical to that used in Albany. He stayed in Boston until March 1826. For the Christmas holidays, the gallery was decorated with greens and full-size figures of George Washington on horseback, Marquis de Lafayette, and Governor DeWitt Clinton, the latter two taken from life and that of the governor probably done when Hubard was in Albany. In the spring, Hubard began moving south, stopping in Philadelphia and Baltimore before settling permanently in Virginia. He began painting in oils as early as 1829; his work as a shade cutter ended. Master Hubard's successor was Master Hankes (Hanks) identified as Jervis or Jarvis. Born in 1799 in upstate New York, he moved to West Virginia after the War of 1812 and became a portrait painter, silhouettist, sign and ornamental painter. Sometime after moving to Ohio in 1825 and perhaps seeing the commercial possibilities of being the successor to Hubard, he took the title of "Master" and devoted himself to silhouette cuttings. Like Hubard, he offered the

Papyrotomia and the Panharmonicon and took the show on the road, moving from town to town and city to city. To date, the following route has been plotted for him: May and June 1828, New Haven, Middletown, and Hartford, Conn.; July and August 1828, Salem, Mass.; May 1929, Reading, Pa.; July 26August 30, 1830, Rochester, N.Y.; August 1830, Geneva, N.Y.; August 26. September 1, 1830, Ithaca, N.Y.;September 1830, Syracuse, N.Y.; and OctoberNovember 1830, Albany, N.Y. It was on October 8, 1830, that a "new and splendid collection of PAPYROTOMIA" opened in Albany at the American Hotel. For only 25 cents, Hankes would cut your likeness—your family, your dog, or your horse, Figure 9. Inexpensive though the silhouette was, it could not ultimately compete with an oil, pastel or watercolor portrait. Hubard and Hankes had found a successful formula—the papyrotomia and the panharmonicon, ways to entertain. Master K.G. Nellis added a new dimension in 1834. Handicapped—he had no arms— he cut silhouettes holding the scissors in his toes! This was only one of many feats he promised audiences in Albany in 1834 and in Salem (Mass.) in 1836, Figure 10. At a time when the public would pay 25 cents to see an Egyptian mummy; 100 live rattlesnakes; Iroquois Indian War Party Dances; the mammoth Tripp sisters; the living skeleton; OurangOutang, child of the forest; or a demonstration of laughing gas, Master Nellis offered fiddling, shooting a bow and arrow and cutting profiles, all with his toes. And he more than held his own; the Albany Argus on December 4, 1834, commented that he and the comic songster appearing with him at the Albany Museum "are drawing crowded audiences every evening ... His pleasing manners and accomplishments command esteem and respect." In 1839, the artist Samuel F.B. Morse (1791-1872) returned home from a European trip carrying with him a new device for taking likenesses—the daguerrian camera. With the advent of this new invention, the days of the shade cutters drew rapidly to a close.


CollectingIt's More than an Assemblage Karl Mendel

S

trange, personal, and unique is the motivation for the assemblage of a collection—any collection, be it antiques or just "collectibles." Moreover, during the passage of time, circuitous as well as full of surprises are the route and adventures of collecting. Instead of leading, one is almost led by his collecting; and it, in turn, takes him into all kinds of out-of-the-way places and introduces him to peoples he would never have seen or met otherwise. To say the least, collecting opens vistas never before perceived or realized; it presents entre and habitation into a facet of the world which, prior to the start of the collection, could never have been envisaged or imagined even in one's wildest dreams. And so it has been for me in my years of assembling my collection of Shaker furniture and artifacts. Indeed, my collecting Shaker began most inadvertently and really not as "a collection." Many years ago, after attending a graduate study program at Williams College in northwestern Massachusetts and liking very much that area of New England, I bought some land in a nearby area and had built for myself a vacation and possibly retirement house. Once completed, there then arose the need to furnish the house, and it was my intention to do so with as much furniture as I could find in that area of New England. Thus, began my initiation into the rarified realm of Shaker and into the more popular lists of antique collecting with all its varied sub-parts: antique shows, flea markets, antique

shops, dealers, and fellow Shaker collectors. First off, I found in a local antique shop an armed rocking chair with simple lines and easy comfort that I liked and wanted for the house. Later I learned it was a Shaker chair. Because of my taste for simplicity and utilitarianism of things for my home, with this chair I became interested in Shakerism and began to desire more furniture of this distinct style. From this one chair (now no longer in the collection), little by little what was, through the years, to become my Shaker collection continued to grow—one piece leading to the acquisition of another. In the beginning it was other chairs, then came tables, and specialized smaller pieces such as desks and tin cupboards and various benches, and finally large case pieces and all types of secondary Shaker accessories. The

Chestnut table, Alfred, Maine, Shaker Community; cherry slant-top desk resting on table is from Mount Lebanon; cherry swift, Mount Lebanon; red-finished tilter chair, cane seat, Canterbury, New Hampshire, Shaker Community; cherry blanket chest, Enfield Connecticut, Shaker Community. Pine cupboard, Enfield, Connecticut; small covered box is a signed piece that belonged to Eldress Betsey Johnson at Hancock; maple three-slat-back filter chair, 1820-1830, original splint seat, part of a matched set, Mount Lebanon. Painting, oil on canvas, Henry D. Thielcke, circa 1870. The painting and the early lighting devices on the windowframe are not Shaker items, but represent other aspects of the collector's interests.

31


Clockwise from above: Two-piece pine sewing desk, circa 1810, Mount Lebanon; maple three-slat-back armchair, 19th century, western Shaker, possibly a weaver's chair; maple five-slat-back armchair, early 20th century, applied finials on back posts, mushroom finials on arms, made by Brother Charles Greaves of the Mount Lebanon community for Dr. John D. Roberts, who was the physician for the sisters of the Shaker community, upon his retirement from the profession; cricket (footstool), Mount Lebanon, painted black. Cherry hanging cupboard, late 18th or early 19th century, Mount Lebanon,New York,Shaker Community; table, reproduction of an Enfield, New Hampshire, Shaker piece; dining chair with horizontal spindles, last half of the 19th century, original tape seat, marked Mount Lebanon; dining chair with vertical spindles, Enfield, New Hampshire, Shaker Community; boxes on top of cupboard are from various Shaker communities,left and middle stacks are multi-finger boxes and right stack are Harvard boxes that have one finger up and one down;silk-lined sewing box on table is a signed box that belonged to Eldress Mary Fall at the Hancock, Massachusetts, Shaker Community; the small oval box has tucked-in fingers, the earliest method of assembling these oval boxes, and is from Mount Lebanon. Pine sewing desk, mid-19th century, Canterbury; No.7 carrier (on top of desk), Watervliet, New York, Shaker Community, Shaker boxes were made in nests and numbered, No. 1 being the largest size; butternut elder's desk, last half of the 19th century, West Family, Enfield, Connecticut, Shaker Community; Shaker baskets displayed on top of elder's desk; maple rocking chair, 1820, tape seat, Mount Lebanon;sap bucket, painted yellow, North Family, Enfield, New Hampshire.

32


acquisition of each new piece up to the present time has been dictated by the same taste for simplicity and utilitarianism as was that first rocking chair bought now so many years ago. But more has been gained from the assemblage of the collection than just the necessity of furnishing a house. Through the years of collecting and living with my Shaker furnishings has come a most satisfying, personal aesthetic reward from it. Living amongst it, looking at it, using it daily has given my "inner person" a tremendous satisfaction and solace. It has filled the demand within me, the person—not the collector, for satiation of the appetite for beauty (by my own definition of same) in my life. In my case, this has been obtained from Shaker understatement of constructional line; from the warmth of the patina of old woods; and from the abstract, sculptural creation which is most pieces of Shaker furniture and handicraft. Another dividend that has come from the years and numerous travel miles covered in building the collection has been the people met along the way. This is one of the great intangibles of collecting. It is also one of the most valuable extensions of collecting upon which it is impossible to place any real, tangible value itself. There have been all types of people—yes, some even unforgettable characters—along the way; some sophisticates of the city and the moneyed classes and many others who were true-blue Americana, almost a legend in themselves. There have been antique dealers—some really honest, some overly dishonest; all kinds of craftsmen—for instance, a marvelous Swedish cabinetmaker who made miraculous furniture repairs, and a loquacious weaver of replacement Shaker tape seats who always had one more tale to tell; museum directors, many of whom were willing to give freely of their time and knowledge of Shaker to educate an erstwhile novice; and all kinds of collectors, small-time ones and bigtime ones, who either were honestly pleased to show their Shaker collection and meet a fellow Shaker collector on terms of equality or who, when the

matter of viewing their collection came up in conversation, cringed for fear of revealing secret possessions or of being outdone. Notwithstanding all the previously mentioned extra rewards from my collecting, lastly and probably the most enlightening has been the knowledge gained about the Shakers, their former communities, their lifestyle, and their history which leads into the present day's sad state and pending demise of Shakerism. It is a knowledge of a brief interim in our American history of an idealism which first thrived, then withered, and today is near obliteration. It is a knowledge of a valiant group of people who lived and practiced in truth to themselves and their beliefs, in spite of their iconoclasm to their contemporaries. And most wonderfully of all, it is a knowledge of an attempt to reach—and Shakerism did for a brief while attain— perfection in this life, a goal of but not attained by those of the 18th-century Enlightenment, but an ideal which

briefly flowered in this country with the Shakers of the early 19th century. Therefore, the furniture and other artifacts which came from that kind of society are in themselves perfect accoutrements with which to live in today's society which is so less perfect and so much more mass-produced and mass-stamped. So my Shaker collection to me, its collector, has brought much personal fulfillment; continuing aesthetic pleasure; a wider social circle; an aperture into an avocational milieu which was previously unknown; and an intellectual interest that constantly allows as well as demands broadening. Indeed, collecting is like an insect-carried disease— once one is bitten, the disease gets perpetually worse and has no cure. But it is a delightfully euphoric malady which one does not want cured because of all its gratifying side effects. And all of this because of a purchase of a simple rocking chair years ago? Yes,indeed!

Shawl-rack armchair, late 19th century, all original tape, Mount Lebanon; tape-top footstool, Mount Lebanon; maple and pine 12-drawer sewing desk, 1840-1850, Canterbury; maple "revolver" chair, 19th century, tripod base, used in the primary school at Mount Lebanon.

33


cAmerican Pillowcases Jack T.Ericson

A

merican quilts and coverlets have received a great deal of attention over the last few years thanks to numerous books and museum exhibits. However, very little has been written about the ubiquitous pillowcase. This photoessay examines 19th-century American applique, pieced, quilted, and embroidered pillowcases. Pillowcases have become very collectible recently as textile and graphics enthusiasts have seen in them the same design and color combinations found in the best of American quilts. In the early years of the 19th century young girls spent long hours preparing bed linens for the day of their marriage.

It was common in the New England and Mid-Atlantic states for the girl to embroider her name, the date, and sometimes a number on the pillowcases she assembled. However, among the Pennsylvania Germans not only were the cases embroidered, but they were also made by using the techniques of applique, pieced work, and quilting. Many pillowcases, and they usually come in pairs, were designed to match a quilt. Often a quilt, a pair of cases, and a bolster case were made in the same pattern. The majority of the pieced and appliquĂŠd pillowcases originated with the

Above: Pieced wall pocket in the "Snail's Trail" pattern. Pennsylvania. Circa 1855. Calico and unbleached muslin. 22" square. The squares are made of calico and the back is unbleached muslin. 1 2 "long (wide The two loops were used to attach the case to a wall or door. The opening is 6/ enough for a hand) and is midway between each side and 4" below the top edge.(Collection of Evie Gleason) Opposite: Pieced pillowcase in the "Streak 0' Lightning" pattern. Pennsylvania. Circa 1850. Calico. 24" x 20". The top is made of nine bars of calico. The fabric is carried over 2/ 1 2 "on each side of the back and the back is completed with three bars of calico. (Collection of Joel and Kate Kopp, America Hurrah Antiques, New York City)

34


35


Above: Pieced pillowcase. Pennsylvania. Circa 1880. Calico 17" x 14".The inside of the pieced top is lined and the five white glass buttons fit into reinforced buttonholes. (Collection of Joel and Kate Kopp, American Hurrah Antiques, New York City)•

Pennsylvania Germans. No doubt some pillowcases were made as "show" pieces, to be used only on special occasions. Most, however, were made for everyday use and were subject to the Pennsylvania German tradition of twice yearly washings. They did not hold up under repeated washings, as did the more common linen and cotton cases. A textile conservator should be consulted before one attempts to clean a pillowcase; collectors who have attempted home laundry often find their prized possessions in pieces. The back and borders of a pieced pillowcase might consist of one or many different printed calicos. In most instances the top of the case is well laid out, while the back is not given much attention. Backs may be made of a solid piece of material or two or three fabrics arranged in stripes or in a hodgepodge arrangement. Pillowcases pieced on both sides are somewhat rare. The pieced

Right: Pieced bolster cover in the "Nine and Four Patch" pattern. Pennsylvania. Circa 1875. Calico. 53/ 1 2 " x 15". The top has twelve multi-colored and multi-patterned nine-patch blocks divided by bars. The back has eight nine-patch blocks and three pieced panels of four-patch blocks. (Collection of Joel and Kate Kopp, America Hurrah Antiques, New York City)

work pattern in the well-made cases is carried over to the back of the case so that when the pillow is inserted the backing fabric will not be seen. At other times, the backing fabric is carried over to the front to form the borders for the pieced top. The latter technique avoids unsightly seams. The very best-made pieced cases usually have an internal lining on the reverse of the pieced top, and interior tapes, buttons, or a partially closed opening to hold the pillow in the case. Usually the cases are hand-sewn. Some are initialed and dated with embroidery. There is a wide range of expertise exhibited in pillowcases. Some are crudely made and perhaps were practice pieces done by children before they began their first quilt top. Others exhibit superb needlework, color, and design which make them outstanding examples of miniature American textile graphics.

Near right: Quilted pillowcase. Pennsylvania. 1 2 "x 16". Circa 1860. All white cotton. 26/ The top is hand-quilted in feather, floral, and waffle stylized motifs. The cotton used for the stuffing contains cotton seeds. (Collection of Jack T. Ericson) Far right: Appliqued pillowcase in the "Double Peony" pattern. Pennsylvania. Circa 1850. 1 2 "x 16".The blocks are Calico and cotton. 28/ appliqued in two different red calicos with white and printed pink-and-white borders. The back is white cotton, seamed at the top and at each edge. The edging is made of white cotton squares folded to form triangles. (Collection of Joel and Kate Kopp, America Hurrah Antiques, New York City)


Left to right: Pieced pillowcase in a ,`,`Star Variation" pattern. Pennsylvania. Circa 1800. Toile, calico, and linen. 26" x 161 / 2". The pieced star is made of patches of toile and calico and is bordered with toile. The three patches at each end of the case are calico. The back of the case and the tape ties are made of linen. This is an exceptionally early pieced pillowcase. (Collection of Joel and Kate Kopp, America Hurrah Antiques, New York City) Pieced pillowcase in the "Lone Star" pattern. Pennsylvania. Circa 1860. Cotton and calico. 22/ 1 2 "square. The reverse of the pieced cotton and calico top is lined with a single piece of calico. The back is one piece of calico. (Collection of Joel and Kate Kopp, America Hurrah Antiques, New York City) Embroidered pillowcase. New York. 1859. One piece of finely woven white cotton. 40" x 16". The case is embroidered in cross stitch. It is seamed up the center of the back and at the top, and edged with machinemade lace. Laura Ann Scofield, daughter of Smith and Eliza Brown Scofield, embroidered this case in 1859 when she was 24 years old. In 1863 she married George Burris Blinn and spent her entire lifetime within one mile of her log cabin birthplace. She died in Ellery, Chautauqua County, New York, in 1925.(Collection of Jack T. Ericson) Laura Ann Scofield Blinn (1835-1925).(Collection of Jack T. Ericson)

3",


Tribute to aTradition:

American Folk Art at The Cleveland Museum ofArt IN)01)000000004:000144000000000

GabrielP Weisberg, Curator Department of Art History and Education The Cleveland Museum of Art

T

he exhibition entitled American Folk Art from the Traditional to the Naive that takes place at The Cleveland Museum of Art from October 4, 1978, through February 18, 1979, is an unusually perceptive, direct, and comprehensive examination of the folk tradition in America. The show makes no attempt to confine its selection to aesthetic considerations alone, but is more particularly concerned with the intrinsic value of American folk art—its sociologic and historic ideas. Under a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cleveland Museum has organized the 71 folk objects thematically to identify the major categories and to point out key examples, as well as to clarify major issues surrounding the development and variety of folk art in America. Individuality is a unique feature of American folk art, as the Cleveland exhibition clearly shows. Regional folk art images that have been assembled from the Museum as well as private collectors include both heroes and common men, commercial signs and private tributes, universal beliefs and whimsey. The folk art of America is thus depicted as a succession of individual works loosely linked by the instinctive

38

eye of a particular artist for form and his preference for images from his environment. American folk art is the creation of everyday people; it is related to every aspect of their lives, their work, their play, their spiritual beliefs or personal visions, and their impressions of people and events around them. As in all art, the folk artist's imagery is the product of two factors: his personal vision and the collective vision imposed by the culture in which he works. Medium, technique, and style in American folk art, however, are often determined by tradition, the materials at hand, and natural ability, rather than aesthetic choices. The result is a sincere, extemporaneous expression of the American experience. Although American folk art lacks the cohesiveness and enduring traditions that typify many national folk arts, three general types have been readily identified: utilitarian, visions of the unseen, and naive representations of reality. Use and efficiency were primary motivations in the creation of utilitarian folk art. The design of the utensils wa,s dictated by function, and patterns and motifs were added to the form as ornaments which would add color and

variety to the ware. Personal creativity is less apparent in this type of folk art. Most utilitarian folk objects simply reflect the common needs of a community or region, changing economic conditions, and the aspirations of the people who made them. New settlers in America brought with them a knowledge of European materials, techniques, and skills. The Colonial Hadley chests, for example, are similar in construction and design to late Elizabethan-Renaissance pieces. They can be identified, Figure 1, by the common decorative motif on the front panels, but the individual interpretation of the Hadley motif varied with each maker. European stylistic and technical influences in American folk art can also be recognized in marzipan molds, slip-decorated pottery, and


Figure 2. Squaw Rock by Henry Church, Jr. (1836-1908). Stone. Executed in 1885.124" x 202". Located on the Aurora Branch of the Chagrin River, South Chagrin Reservation, Ohio.(The Cleveland Metropolitan Park System)

Figure 1. Hadley Chest attributed to John Allis (1642-1691). Oak and pine. Executed in Connecticut Valley, circa 1680. L.48 3/8".(The Cleveland Museum of Art, Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust)


inspirational drawings and the paintings Contemporary folk artists, like their executed by the German Separatists of 18th- and 19th-century predecessors, Zoar are mystical revelations or personal lack formal instruction in the use of testimonies intended for a particular materials and techniques or even an religious community. understanding of the history and developAmerican patriotic images are jubilant ment of art that is the background of expressions of an awakening national most modern artists. The folk artist, consciousness. A few, such as the eagle, instead, works from a personal, simplistic were established Biblical or European concept of art that is rooted in a singlesymbols before their adaptation in minded vision which does not project America. Uncle Sam and the Stars and beyond his immediate environment and Stripes are original images, inspired personal, often eccentric, concerns. A by the struggle for independence, nation- significant contemporary work is the al heroes, and the general democratic Male Portrait Bust carved by Noble experience. Henry Church, Jr., a black- Stuart in 1946, Figure 3, from black smith from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, com- walnut and apple wood, with painted bined traditional patriotic symbols with eyes, painted tin collar, and a pair of regional historical images in his sculpture real eyeglasses. The figure was intended Squaw Rock, Figure 2, an allegorical to serve as a lamp base, but in itself Figure 3. Male Portrait Bust by representation of the American conti- it is an intriguing, aesthetic form that, Noble A. Stuart (1882-1976). Black walnut, nent's history. despite its naivete, demonstrates a refined applewood, tin, paint, and wire-rimmed eyeglasses. H. 18". Executed in Hinckley, Ohio, integration of image and material. The 1946.(Collection of Helene and Richard Trump) Washerwoman Whirligig constructed by Steve Ashby in 1972, Figure 4, is a contemporary rendition of a long-estabthe birth and baptismal frakturs included lished American folk art. It perpetuates in the show. the American custom of wind-toys Native American practices contributed and represents a traditional theme. to the development of other utilitarian The image, however, is significantly objects. Bird decoys are the most widealtered by the artist's use of raw cotton, spread indigenous folk art and resulted cloth, and a discarded tin pan. Ashby's from settlers adopting hunting methods washerwoman is visually and texturally that had been used by the Indians as enticing—a humorous image that at early as A.D. 1000. Decoy images are the same time is a sophisticated and based on direct observations of nature, aesthetic achievement. but are seldom intended as literal repreOne of the enduring features of this sentations of the birds they portray. Cleveland Museum of Art exhibition Figure 4. Washerwoman Whirligig by Steve The character of a species is conveyed Ashby (b. 1907). Wood, metal, cloth, cotton, is the accompanying catalogue,American economically through line and stylized and paint. Executed in Fauquier County, Folk Art from the Traditional to the / 2".(Collection of color patterns that approximate the Virginia, 1972. L. 211 Naive, by Lynette I. Rhodes. It provides Gene and Linda Kangas) natural posture or markings of the a concise overview of over 200 years birds. of American folk art, as well as comFaith in God and country, the second Much American folk art represents mentary about the individual pieces category in the Cleveland exhibition, a preoccupation with recording reality. included in the show. The catalogue, is a recurrent theme in American folk Nature is the source of this imagery, which contains 85 illustrations, 6 in art. Religious and patriotic images were but the natural world defined by the full color, is a handy reference for new not motivated by physical necessity or naive artist is not always true to life. viewers, collectors, scholars, and, esartistic concerns. Instead, they offered Folk art in this third category includes pecially, the growing number of enthuspiritual sustenance and inspiration. both the early American portrait and siasts attracted to the American folk art Some religious images were com- landscape pieces, sculpted and carved tradition. It is available through the munal expressions embodying the beliefs works, as well as the representations Cleveland Museum's book shop for and traditions that were fundamental of 20th-century artists. The incongru- $5 plus $1 postage and handling. to a particular region, such as the santos ities apparent in some pieces are charEarly in 1979 the Cleveland exhibit of the Southwest. Others are personal acteristic of the distortions that often will travel to Canton and Cincinnati, images based upon a literal interpre- occur in untutored attempts at literal Ohio, and perhaps other institutions tation of a Biblical verse. The Shaker depiction. in the midwest. 40


Noteworthy Events Quilts..,and quilts Patricia Newkirk Past President,

National Quilting Association

Today's quilts are good, better, best— as well as poor. To appreciate a quilt and its quality, it helps to know how a quilt is viewed and judged by experts. Judging covers four major areas: the top, the back, the quilting, and the edges. The top is judged on overall design, color balance and coordination, and craftsmanship. If the top is pieced, do the corners match? If it is appliqued, are the patches sewn securely with no raw edges showing? Little distinction is made between machine piecing versus hand piecing. However, machine applique and the hand-sewn version look quite different; all too often the distinction is necessary because of the poor quality of the machine work. However, just as the quality of machine piecing has improved, surely machine applique will also. The back is scrutinized for fabric selection, color coordination, and general appearance. Does it lay smooth between the lines of quilting? Is the color compatible with the top? Whether the back is a solid color or a print, it must blend well with the top. Solid c( ' emphasize the quality of the quilting stitch more than prints. When white or off-white predominates in the top, great care is needed to be certain the back matches; a sharp contrast is preferred to white front and back that are not quite the same. Fabrics with definite lines, such as ginghams, stripes, and plaids, are

more complicated. It is very difficult to align the straight lines of such backing fabric with the front; also, lines on the back that are not parallel to the quilt edges make the quilt appear crooked. And the color of the back must never be so dominant that it "bleeds through" on the top. In general, the back should be as pleasing to the eye as the top. When it is, the quilt becomes reversible and the collector has two for the price — and the work—of one. The quilting comprises both design and stitching. The design should coordinate with the top. The amount of quilting required by todov's polyester quilt batting is minimal. Additional stitching adds to the artistic appeal of the quilt. Evenr.2ss of stitches is the first consideration, then size o; the stitches. Those on the top and the s ices between (the understitch) should be the same size. Modern polyester fillers and available fabrics tend to limit how small tic stitch can be. The old cotton fillers wet., very in and the cotton fabrics were of fine quality, so the stitches could be minute—from 20 to 24 (top and space) to the inch were not uncommon. Nowadays the range of good quilting is more often 14 to 18 stitches per inch. The color of the quilting thread also is a consideration; different colors may enhance the front but usually detraL from the appearance of the back. Machine quilting tends to be misunderstood. Cot-timers ial machine quilting is generally unacceptable becaus, it runs riot over the pattern. Home machine quilting, on the other hand, will gain its rightful place as judges become knowledgeable about its techniques and potential. Look for evenness of tension, intricacy of design, and a smooth top and back with no tucks, gathers, or pulled fabric. Both hand and machine

quilting should be free of knots or thread ends on the top and the back. The edges are the last but by no means least consideration. Too many beautifully executed quilts have been spoiled by a hurry-up finish. Bound edges must be firm; even in width and thickness; smooth, invisibly stitched; and should usually have mitered corners. Scalloped edges must not have excess fullness causing puckers or gathers where the scallops meet. If the edge is not bound, the raw edges of both the top and the back should be turned to the inside and stitched together invisibly. Do you want to own a quilt? Look at quilts in every sort of place. Judge each by using the aforementioned criteria. Decide the standard you find acceptable, then begin searching. Whether you purchase or make your quilt, think of it in terms of a minimum of five hours of work per square foot. Quilts for sale in today's market are seldom bargains. All too often they are overpriced for the quality of the workmanship. Old quilts are not necessarily good quilts. Seek quality. If you decide to make your own, find a teacher specializing in the techniques that interest you—applique or patchwork, hand or machine work, traditional or contemporary. The best advertisement of a good teacher is not her own work but that of her students, for some extremely able quilters are not good teachers. At local shows ask which quilts were made by students, then find out who taught them. Remember that your work will look more like the students' than the teacher's. Where can you go to see quilts? County fairs, historic homes, art galleries, and museums are good places to start. Check local newspapers as well as national magazines for special events featuring quilts. 41


54 judging from the apparent age of the girls when painted and the style of the sitters' clothing, the family portraits were painted. But by whom? At present he is called the Gale Family Limner. Emily Boyce Salmon W. Corwin was a young Orange County portrait and landscape painter whose work is currently being Like many mid-19th century families, rediscovered, but about whom very the Gales of Pine Island, Orange County, little is yet known. He was born in 1829, New York, had their portraits painted the son of Horton Corwin, Esq., of in oil by someone reputed to "give a Mount Hope, Orange County, and died good likeness." There was Samuel E. in 1855 at the age of 26 in nearby New Gale, the stern but enterprising small Vernon. During 1853-54 he was the town businessman and farmer; his wife, protege and assistant of Joseph W. Mary Mapes Gale, looking equally stern Stock when Stock traveled from Midand very prim; their two daughters, dletown, New York, and "took rooms Emily, born in 1839, and her sister in the Vail Building ... near the depot" / 2 years younger. Except for in Goshen, New York. In the spring Susan, 91 the time when the girls were away at of 1854, Stock and Corwin became school as teenagers their early years partners in Port Jervis, New York—a were spent in Orange County. Sometime relationship which was shortlived. in mid-century, probably around 1853Confirmed portraits by S. W. Corwin

Is Salmon W.Corwin the Gale Family Limner?

are few. The only signed Corwin paintings known to this writer are of Joseph Ketcham, inscribed in the lower right corner "Joseph Ketcham/born June 21, 1782/painted Jan. 17, 1854/by S. W. Corwin" and a companion portrait of his wife, Mary T. Ketcham, similarly signed but painted two days later. The Ketchams lived in Otisville in Orange County. These portraits are currently owned by the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center in Williamsburg, Virginia. Two paintings of the Corwin family—

Left: Mary Mapes Gale (1813-1902),oil on canvas, 1853-54,29 7/8" x 24 3/4". Top: Susan Gale (1849-1901), oil on canvas, 1853-54,43/ 1 2 "x 351 / 2". Above: Emily Gale (1839-1920), oil on canvas, 1853-54,43/ 1 2 "x 351 / 2".

42


Catalogue of American Portraits Being Compiled by the NationalPortrait Gallery

Samuel E. Gale (1812-1887), oil on canvas, 1853-54,291/2"x 24 3/4".

Mr. and Mrs. Edward C. Corwin—now hanging in The New-York Historical Society gallery, although unsigned, are believed by some folk art authorities to have been painted by S. W. Corwin. In addition Corwin is known to be the artist responsible for a lithograph of Port Jervis, New York, in the collection of The New-York Historical Society. It is imprinted: "Port Jervis, N.Y./From the Mountain on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware/Published by Stock and Corwin, Portrait Painters/Corwin del./ Lith. of Endicott and Co. N.Y." In comparing the Gale portraits with other folk art portraits of the period one of the distinctive characteristics is the unique style of the background in the portraits of Susan and Emily. It is rare to find- sky coloration in almost horizontal brush strokes. Also, the painter obviously had difficulty placing background trees in a realistic perspective with his subject.

No other children's portraits are known to this writer with backgrounds resembling those of Emily and Susan Gale; but the nearby large tree trunk to the right of Emily Gale was a common characteristic at the side of several children's portraits painted by J. W. Stock with whom Corwin worked. Could it be that Corwin—as Stock's protege—was attempting to adapt this characteristic of his mentor's style to his own type of background in his portrait of Emily Gale? The Gale portraits exhibit other characteristics of Stock which could have been transferred to his protege—fresh, vibrant palette; intense expression of the faces, but, alas, a difficulty in relating the face to the neck and the rest of the body. Hopefully more portraits will emerge from Orange County which can clarify the style of Salmon W. Corwin and document the identity of the Gale Family Limner.

Field researchers from the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution have begun a project expected to take seven years—compiling a Catalogue of American Portraits. Rather than being assembled in book form, the Catalogue will be a computerized reference source. It is intended to provide a complete listing— with photographs of the works compiled—of paintings, pastels, and sculpture. Although interested primarily in subjects who have made significant contributions to the history, development, and culture of the United States, the Catalogue researchers will also be collecting data on all portraits by noteworthy American artists. Inquiries concerning the Catalogue of American Portraits may be directed to the National Portrait Gallery, Room 316, F and Eighth Streets N.W., Washington, D. C. 20560.

Museum of Americian Folk Art Receives Grantfrom Institute of Museum Services The Museum is the recipient of a S15,000 grant for general operating expenses from the Institute of Museum Services, a recently created Federal agency within the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. The Institute provides grant funds to a wide range of museums, including art, history, and science museums, zoos, botanical gardens, science43


technology centers, aquaria, planetaria, and general and specialized museums. Our Museum was one of 256 museums selected from 859 applicants which submitted proposals to the Institute. Created by Title II of the Arts, Humanities, and Cultural Affairs Act of 1976, the Institute is the first Federal agency authorized to provide general operating support, as well as project support, to museums. Mrs. Lee Kimche, the Director of the Institute, said in announcing the Institute's first grant awards which totaled $3,700,000, "The establishment of the Institute demonstrates an important change in the Federal Government's commitment to museums. No longer are these institutions considered merely shelters for special projects; they are now viewed as cultural foundations which require continual support to exist, build, experiment, and expand."

Black Folk Music Album Available Through the Library of Congress The Library of Congress advises that it has released a new long-playing record focusing on the traditional black music of northwestern Mississippi. The album, entitled Afro-American Folk Music from Tate and Panola Counties, Mississippi, contains 14 vocal and instrumental selections recorded over a period of 30 years. Folklorist and ethnomusicologist David Evans edited the volume which documents the distinctive musical tradition and style of the "Hill Country," a region in Tate and Panola Counties located east of Choctaw Ridge and the Delta. The music is intricately tied to the social life of the community. It has a strong instrumental emphasis and is generally played with accompaniment. The performers use a wide variety of instruments, including the "bow didley" 44

(a taut wire attached to an exterior building wall), quills (panpipes made from cane), guitar, banjo, fiddle, bass and snare drums, and a number of improvised instruments such as washtubs, chairs, cans, crates, benches, and woodblocks. The album shows some of the historical changes and continuities that have occurred in the area over three decades. The preface of the 23-page illustrated brochure which accompanies the album provides a general introduction to the region and to its musical traditions. The selection notes contain information on the performers, the context of performances, and the role of various musical genres in the life of the community. A list of related publications, recordings, and films is included. Afro-American Folk Music from Tate and Panola Counties, Mississippi, is available for $6.50 in person from the Information Counter, Library of Congress Building, or for $7 by mail (postage and handling is included) from the Library of Congress, Recording Laboratory, Washington, D.C. 20540. A free catalogue of the complete Library of Congress folk music-folklore series is available upon request from the Recording Laboratory.

Williamsburg Antiques Forum Will Have New Format in 1979 The Williamsburg Antiques Forum, in deference to the greater mobility and faster pace of today's antique enthusiasts, will offer a shorter, threeand-a-half day format in 1979. In two sessions, January 28-31 and February 4-7, the Forum will emphasize what Williamsburg is best equipped to present —"The Decorative Arts of the 18th Century."

Michael Archer of London's Victoria and Albert Museum and Ivor Noel Hume, resident archeologist for Colonial Williamsburg, will speak at both sessions. Other first session speakers will be Dr. John W. Reps of Cornell University, Florence M. Montgomery of New Haven, Connecticut, and Cary Carson, Colonial Williamsburg director of research. Second session speakers will be Dr. Richard L. Bushman of the University of Delaware, Bernice Garvan of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Paul Buchanan, director of architectural research for Colonial Williamsburg. In addition to the favorite "extras" such as Sunday night reception, special exhibits, teas and a concert at the Governor's Palace, each week will culminate in an optional banquet. Four separate workshops on style and craftsmanship in the decorative arts will be conducted each session by curators and craftsmen. Furniture, textiles, ceramics, silver and metalwork from the Colonial Williamsburg collections will be presented and discussed. Another new feature will be panels on the fundamentals of conservation of furniture and accessories, paintings, textiles and paper presented by authorities from Colonial Williamsburg and other institutions. The two Forum sessions will be connected by a new in-depth package weekend entitled "Introduction to Antiques." It will start Thursday evening, February 1 after dinner and conclude with brunch on Sunday morning, February 4. The Antiques Forum and the "Introduction to Antiques" weekend are open to the general public as events in Colonial Williamsburg's cultural and educational program. Further information may be obtained by writing Mrs. Peggy W. Sabol, Registrar, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, Williamsburg, Virginia 23185 or by calling 804 229-1000, ext. 2371.


Reports from the Museum Interns Recent Gift to the Museum- Group of Puerto Rican Santos Albert Key Lake Forest College

tions dictated the lines that their santos took. The bodies of most santos are carved from one piece of wood and attached to a base. The hands and other particular attributes of the saint are affixed with dowels or nails. Santos range from 7 to 20 inches in height. Though larger ones exist, they were made for the

Virgin of Montserrate with carved throne in the image of a forest or fire. Artist unknown. Puerto Rico. 19th century. Wood, painted. H.11". This santo was purchased from its original owner for "3 pound of pork and a chicken." (Gift of Mrs. Nancy Valelly)

Through a recent gift of eleven Puerto Rican santos, the Museum of American Folk Art has extended its interest to American cultures other than the United Nativity Scene composed of Mary, Joseph, States. Baby Jesus,donkey, ox, and bird (representing Santos, or "saints," are Christian the Holy Ghost) by a member of the Caban family. devotional figures, usually worshipped Puerto Rico. Late 19th century. Wood, painted. H. of tallest figure 1 2". in the home. The first Spanish settlers (Gift of Mrs. Nancy7/ Valelly) in the western hemisphere retained the customs of their homeland. When originally colonized, Puerto Rico was designed only to be a garrison for Spanish troops; trade ships rarely docked at the island's piers, for other colonies in the New World possessed the economic appeal of the sugar and tobacco industries. The few settlers who came to Puerto Rico were forced to rely on santos imported from Spain. Only enough santos arrived to fill the larger churches in the towns and villages. The majority of people on the island were deprived of their own santos. To fill the void, the settlers at first improvised, using sheath knives to carve the small figures. Thus, the first Puerto Rican santos were crude whittlings of native woods. Professional santeros, or santo-carvers, such as the earliest members of the Rivera family, eventually came into being. Independent from Spanish influence, the santeros' imagina-

45


churches in the towns, and were not meant to be worshipped domestically. The larger images reflected Spanish influences much more than the smaller folk figures. The early santos were usually covered with gesso and then painted with oils. This gave the figure a smooth, textured surface and added a lustre to the indigenous Puerto Rican pigments. Finally, some santeros finished the sculpture by applying a coat of varnish. Changes in the identity of saints were made by simply painting the santo's robe a different color. Though the appearance of santos varies greatly from the time they became popular until today, the images incorporated in the carvings are unyielding. Probably the most persistent motif is that of the Three Kings. The tiny figures were originally depicted on horseback, lined up facing forward or diagonally, with the black King Melchior in the center. Today the kings are found unhorsed and on modern bases. The Three Kings, along with the scenes of the Nativity, were particularly popular because of their relation to Christmas and the exchange of gifts. The image of the Virgin of Montserrate, named for a special region of Puerto Rico where she performed a miracle, particularly appealed to the santeros because she was unique to the island. Legend relates that she rescued a basketmaker who was attacked by a huge bull in the woods where he had gone to cut reeds for his trade. The craftsman prayed to the Virgin and the bull's legs were miraculously broken. The Virgin is usually depicted sitting on a throne with an image of the Christ Child attached to her lap. The santero always carved Saint Anthony with a book in his right hand and a figure of the Christ Child in his left. Many versions of the legend of Saint Anthony originated in Puerto Rico's Colonial period and most agree that the Infant Jesus descended from heaven to sit on Saint Anthony's Bible. He was believed to possess the power to find a lost lover or object and, therefore, was the patron saint of lovers. The imagery used by the particular 46

santero in depicting the Nativity scene is representative of the honesty of the santero's art form. Joseph, Mary, and the animals of the stable are all clustered around the Infant Jesus. Even the Holy Ghost is represented, in the logical form of a bird in the stable. The imagery never wavers in the fashioning of the small creches and illustrates the loyalty of the santero to each figure's particular symbolism. One of the reasons for this unyielding quality of santo-carving is that the insulated life of the common people in Puerto Rico demanded a son to work in the same profession as his father. Family members were also expected to carry on the carving styles of previous generations. Thus, the traditions of santeros were handed down from father to son. The largest and most well-known santero dynasty was that of the Caban family of the Camuy area. Most of their carvings are frontal. Each santo has a cape stylistically draped over both shoulders, giving the initial impression that they were all fashioned by the same carver, instead of by groups of santeros. The figures tend to be lacking in detail, giving them a uniquely modern, streamlined look. The work of a master santero such as Quinterio Caban was often copied by his contemporaries. As a consequence, many santeros are associated with his particular "school" of carving although they were not actually members of the Caban family. Other prominent santero families of this era were Rivera from Orocovia and Jose Arce from Lares. The best known of the more recent santeros was Zoilio Cajigas of Aguada, who died in 1962 and is noted for his originality and spontaneity of carving. Santos always held a prominent place in the Puerto Rican home, but families tended to treat them casually, not as art objects. The relation between owner and santo was very intimate, as if the figure had a personality all its own. So attached were people to their santo that an owner occasionally requested his santo be burned on the day of his death, perhaps so that the small saint would join him in heaven.

The main purpose of the santo was to act as a bridge between man and God. Often a person asked a favor of the santo—to heal an injury, to find a lost item or lover, to watch over a newborn infant, or to bless a newlybuilt house. When the favor was granted, the santo was thanked by being given an extra coat of paint or by hanging a trinket around the hand or neck. These trinkets, or "miracles" as they were called, fashioned in the image of the thing that the santo blessed, were usually made of punched tin though silver was occasionally used. The obvious isolation of Puerto Rico bred the originality which is inherent in the santos. The lack of foreign influence led the people to rely on their imagination for the execution of their santos; therefore, each image is a personal reflection of the man who made it. The figures today represent a unique insight into a fascinating culture. Editor's Note: This group of Puerto Rican santos was presented to the Museum by Mrs. Richard Valelly in the summer of 1978. Mr. Key was assigned the task of gathering research material during his summer 1978 internship at the Museum. This paper is the result of that study.

Learning About Americian Folk Art and Museum Operations Through Public Relations Meredith W. Mendes Brown University

When I tell people that I worked at the Museum of American Folk Art during the summer they usually nod their heads and reply, "Oh, yes," indicating that they recognize the name. Then they ask me whether I know someone who turns out to be employed by the Museum of Contemporary Crafts,


Dr. Robert Bishop, Director of the Museum, Meredith Mendes, 1978 Summer Intern, and Edward Koch, Mayor of the City of New York. Ms. Mendes is thanking Mayor Koch for adding his signature to the antique quilt that was used as a prize at the Museum's Annual Manhattan House Tour in November.

right down the street from us. The Museum of American Folk Art does not purport to be as large or as well-known as the Museum of Contemporary Crafts, but we are a prestigious institution, well on the way to popular recognition. My goal as an intern was to increase this recognition by stimulating public interest in American folk art and creating an awareness of the Museum's importance to the City of New York and the art world. After a few days of digging into a prodigious amount of files, press lists, and photographs of the next three exhibitions at the Museum, I resolved to concentrate on publicity for the immediate exhibition, "Folk Art: The Heart of America." I pursued members of the press whom I felt would be most responsive to our requests for increased coverage, contacted a number of new publications which had never received information from our Museum, and wrote several articles for antiques publications. I also arranged personal meetings with people in the broadcast media and WNEW -FM and WABC MUSICRADIO included announcements of the Museum's exhibition in their Community Calendars. Dr. Bishop, our Director, taped a live interview for the "New York Now" show on WNYC-FM and I also wrote and recorded a script that was

broadcast several times a day for more than a month. The Spectacolor Company included our announcement on the Times Square Tower. My suggestion for the production of an embroidery kit to accompany our exhibition, "A Gallery of American Samplers," was accepted and a few phone calls led to the Paragon Company which had designed a kit for the Cooper-Hewitt Museum. They agreed to design one for our Museum as well. Dr. Bishop and the company representative decided on a piece from the Museum's permanent collection to be used as the model for a kit which will be marketed both nationally and in The Museum Shop. Paragon also agreed to furnish a demonstrator to be at the Museum at specified times. My other project for the Museum was one of the most challenging and exciting experiences of my life. Jana Klauer, Chairman of the Museum's Annual Manhattan House Tour, approached me as I was typing and asked if I would like to obtain the signatures of Broadway celebrities on a quilt to be given away at the reception following the Tour. I agreed and turned my attention back to my typing without realizing the significance of this agreement or the responsibility I was accepting. The House Tour and quilt project resulted in two months of constant telephone calls, more than 100 letters, and ventures to many parts of New York City to visit homes, theaters, and offices to obtain signatures and interviews. Most people cringed when I mentioned I was going to have celebrities sign an antique quilt. I admit I had doubts about the project myself. But these doubts quickly disappeared as I became immersed in the project. It was also determined that we would obtain benefit tickets for Broadway shows to be given away along with the quilt. Needless to say, no one was anxious to donate tickets. The most difficult part of this project was finding the contacts and the agents necessary to reach the celebrities. With the aid of newspapers, theatrical indexes, frequent visits to Broadway box offices, and innumerable referrals by telephone

and by mail, I was able to locate the necessary contacts. When Andy Warhol agreed to sign the quilt, we expanded our sights to arts other than the theatre. Judy Jedlicka, a dear friend of the Museum and now of myself, helped arrange for signatures of prominent figures in the dance world, including Rudolf Nureyev, Edward Villella, Valery and Galina Panov, Suzanne Farrell, and Peter Martins. Judy also assisted us in obtaining the signature of Mayor Koch. Twenty other celebrities signed the quilt including Yul Brynner, Geoffrey Holder, Richard Kiley, Jack Lenunon, Dorothy Loudon, E. G. Marshall, and Jessica Tandy. The agents for "The Gin Game," "Dracula," "I Love My Wife," "Runaways," and "Mummenschanz" agreed to donate tickets. To write publicity for the Tour, I visited the homes of artists Robert Mihalik and Colette, gourmet-chef and author James Beard, and interior designer Mrs. John Fraser. The owners of the Fifth Avenue mansion on the Tour were in Europe and I was not able to visit them. These homes were the most fascinating part of the House Tour project. Not only did they illustrate a dramatic contrast in lifestyles, but my interviews provided insight into the ways these people have incorporated their personalities and personal philosophies into the interior design of their homes. How did I learn about American folk art and museum operations through public relations work? By being in the Museum environment, reading material on folk art, and writing releases and articles for the Museum. Throughout this report, I have focused on my achievements at the Museum. But more important, is what the Museum did for me. I was fortunate to be working with an amazing group of people; amazing for their knowledge, their patience, and their sensitivity. These people are responsible for the success of the Museum of American Folk Art. I want to thank them for letting me become a part of their family. If I have added just the slightest bit to the reputation and growth of this hnportant cultural institution, then my summer has been a success.

47


Report on the Docent Committee

The Museum Docent Program, from its start in the fall of 1977, was an instant success for the Museum and its visitors. The momentum that developed last year has continued to build. The number of docents has doubled; the Museum now has docents in the gallery six days a week from 10:30 A.M. to 5:30 P.M.; and an enthusiastic and qualified group of volunteers, assembled by the Junior League and trained by the Museum, has enabled the Museum for the first time to be open to the public Thursday evenings until 8 P.M. Docents have been involved in other projects as well. In classes taught by Patricia Coblentz and Dr. Robert Bishop, they are educated not only in the history of American folk art, but are encouraged to research both known and unknown artists—a valuable resource for the Museum. Projects have been completed on such known artists as William Matthew Prior, Joshua Johnston, John Haley Bellamy, Olof Krans, Reuben Moulthrop, Horace Pippin, Jose Ortega, Thomas Jefferson Wright, and the Eberly Pottery by LeeAnn Aukamp, Ellin Ente, Susan Flamm, Wendy Lavitt, Phyllis Tepper and Eleanora Walker. Research on little known or anonymous artists is also

Front Row: Deborah Davis;Betsy Flyn; Maralyn Rittenour, Chairman of Jr. League Committee;Lucy Danziger, Coordinator of Docent Program. Back Row: Suzanne Feldman; Gwen Kade, Vice-Chairman of Jr. League; Julia Baughman;Diana Niles. Photography by Dia Stolnitz

48

underway. One docent, Dottie Kaufman, is attempting to establish that a series of unsigned and previously unattributed paintings are the work of a single artist referred to as the "Tweedy-Bird Limner" because two of the known sitters were a Miss Tweedy and a Miss Bird! This research fits well with the growing interest throughout the country in our American folk art heritage and its expression of the life and interests of diverse groups of Americans. Lucy Danziger Docent Coordinator

Lucy Danziger, Coordinator of Docent Program, presiding at the initial meeting of the Fall 1978 Docent Training Class.


Coming Events at the Museum

"THE WOMAN FOLK ARTIST IN AMERICA." January 16 to April 29, 1979. This exhibition brings together approximately 100 examples of folk art produced by identified women. Bed rugs, samplers, quilts, and other forms of needlework as well as watercolors, oils, pastels, and drawings give testimony to the depth and breadth of women's artistic achievements from the 17th century to the present day. These creations by women have consistently enriched our lives throughout American history and a look at the strength of this feminine contribution is long overdue. A catalogue with over 175 illustrations, written by Marsh MacDowell, Betty MacDowell, and C. Kurt Dewhurst and published by E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc., is available through The Museum Shop. The essays trace the social-historical influences on women's art in this country and give us a fuller understanding of why so many women produced work in the folk art genre rather than in an academic style.

Traditional Irish Fiddle, Paddy Reynolds and friends, appearing in concert in the Museum galleries.

LECTURE BY BEATRIX RUMFORD. Monday, March 12, 1979. Ms. Rumford, Director of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, will speak on "Recent Accessions of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center and How They Reflect Today's Tastes in Collecting." Warwick Hotel, 54th Street and 6th Avenue.6 P.M. Tickets, $3.50 each.

A CELEBRATION OF CHILDHOOD IN AMERICAN FOLK ART. Plans for the 1980-1981 holiday season are presently underway. "A Celebration of Childhood in American Folk Art," a major exhibition of over 300 objects in all media of folk art, will be on view at the Museum during the holiday season. Sandra Brant and Elissa Cullman, guest curators, have conceived of this show as a comprehensive view of the life of children in the 18th and 19th centuries. The SPECIAL PRIVATE PREVIEW FOR exhibition will be divided into three MEMBERS OF THE MUSEUM OF areas entitled: "A Child's Delight," "A AMERICAN FOLK ART. Sotheby Parke Child's Discipline," and "A Child's Bernet, Inc. and the Museum of American Domain." Folk Art are hosting a special private A highlight of the show will be chilpreview of the Stewart E. Gregory dren's playthings: wooden, cast iron, and Collection of American Folk Art and tin toys; dolls and doll houses; and Furniture at the galleries of Sotheby sculptural objects such as rocking horses, Parke Bernet, 980 Madison Avenue, velocipedes, and nursery pull toys. New York City, on Wednesday, Jan- Skates, sleds, and the like, will be shown uary 24, 1979, from 6 to 8 P.M. Hors along with musical toys, board games, D'oeuvres and Cocktails will be served. and building blocks. Admission is by advance reservation Disciplines of the early American child only. will be represented in needlework and

calligraphy, accompanied by school primers and books of rhymes and tales. Paintings, sculpture, and prints depicting children, alone or in family groups, surrounded by their pets and playthings, will be an important part of the show. Portraits mirroring actual objects in this exhibition will serve as an invaluable reference tool for the understanding of children's life in America's youth. The exhibition will be accompanied by a profusely illustrated catalogue, written by Sandra Brant and Elissa Cullman. Photographs of objects for consideration for the exhibition should be sent to the Museum as soon as possible. When submitting objects for inclusion, please remember the Museum's policy of not exhibiting works of art that are for sale or intended to be for sale in the immediate future. MUSICAL EVENINGS. During the past year, under the leadership of Kevin Bueche, the Museum has presented informal evening concerts in the galleries. Public response was so encouraging that we would like to schedule them on a monthly basis in the coming year. The concerts have ranged from the Nantucket Troubadour and Traditional Irish Fiddle to the foot-tapping strains of contemporary American Bluegrass! For more information regarding these musical evenings, please call the Museum office. Admission—Members,$2;Nonmembers, $2.50. 49


The Museum Shop=Talk Elizabeth Tobin Manager

C. Kurt Dewhurst and Marsha MacDowell, curators of the exhibition, "The Woman Folk Artist in America," which will be shown at the Museum from January 16 to April 29, 1979, have co-authored with Betty MacDowell the book, Artists in Aprons; Folk Art by American Women. To best document their search for women folk artists, these authors have chosen only signed works of aesthetic excellence. Divided into three time periods, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries, the book reveals the lives of women within their historical and sociological realms so that there is a sense of history as well as a sense of the artists and their special abilities. Profuse illustrations including bed rugs, bed hangings, quilts, mourning pictures, samplers, fractur paintings, pottery, drawings, and paintings provide the visual reinforcement to the superiority of these women artists. There are footnotes, a well researched bibliography and a brief but helpful biography on each artist. Living artists making their appearance are Mary Borkowski, Albina Felski, Tella Kitchen, Ethel Wright Mohamed, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Inez Nathaniel, Mattie Lou O'Kelley, Tressa Prisbrey, Fanny Lou Spelce, Rhoda Bradley Stokes, Malcah Zeldis.(16.95 hardcover; 9.95 softcover). Although the Summer 1977 issue of The Clarion quickly became a collector's item and is no longer available, it is possible to obtain the last three issues: Winter 1978 (3.00); Summer 1978 which contains the exhibition catalogue, "Folks. Art: The Heart of America," by Elaine Eff (3.50); and Mid-Summer 1978 that includes "A Pictorial Guide To The Permanent 50

Collection" by our director, Robert Bishop.(3.50). Thank you for your support of The Museum Shop for the past year and Happy New Year. Books currently on the market on collecting or identifying DECOYS Barber, Joel. Wild Fowl Decoys. New York: Dover Publications Inc., 1954. (Reprint Windward House Inc., 1934). 5.00 Berkey, Barry Robert; Berkey, Velma; and Berkey, Richard Eric. Pioneer Decoy Carvers: A Biography of Lemuel and Stephen Ward. Cambridge, Maryland: Tidewater Publishers, 1977. 17.50 Bishop, Robert. A Pictorial Guide to the Permanent Collection. New York: Museum of American Folk Art, 1978. (7 page section on decoys). 5.00 Carter, Winthrop L. George Boyd: The Shorebird Decoy, An American Folk Art. Fayetteville, New York: Tenant House Press, 1978. (A First Edition Folio). 7.50 Colio, Quintina. American Decoys From

1865 to 1920. n.p.: Science Press, 1972. 15.00 Earnest, Adele. The Art of the Decoy: American Bird Carvings. New York: Bramhall House, 1965.(Reprint). 5.98 Johnsgard, Paul A., ed. The Bird Decoy An American Art Form.(A catalogue of carvings exhibited at the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery). Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 1976. 17.95 Kangas, Gene and Linda; and Ghetia, George A. National Directory of Decoy Collectors 197811979. Carrollton, Ohio: Carrollton Graphics, Inc., 1978. 10.00 Net Smith, Elmer L. American Wildfowl Decoys From Folk Art to Factory. Lebanon, Pennsylvania: Applied Arts Publishers, 1976. 1.75 Webster, David S. and Kehoe, William. Decoys at Shelburne Museum. Shelburne, Vermont: The Shelburne Museum, 1971.(Revised edition). 7.50 When ordering from The Museum Shop, please note the following: 1. List individual items and add total. 2. Members of the Museum of American Folk Art may subtract 10% from the total unless price says Net. 3. Add 8% tax if order is mailed to New York City. Add 7% if order is mailed elsewhere in New York State. 4. Add postage and handling charges as follows: 1.00 for a single item .50for each additional item Prices subject to change without notice.

MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FOLK ART IS LOOKING FOR OLD COPIES OF THE MAGAZINE ANTIQUES Many thanks to all of you who have contributed copies of Antiques Magazine toward the completion of our set. We are still in need of the following issues: 1922 1923 1924 1933 1937 1944

Entire year Entire year February, March April, June, August March, November January

1972 January,October 1973 April 1974 May,July, August, September, October, November 1975 January, February, April 1976 January, June


A Folk Art Calendar Across the Country and pitchers made to resemble people's faces. An illustrated checklist is available. Renwick Gallery, National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington,D.C.

Most of the pieces have been donated to the college over a span of many years and have never been on display before. Hamilton College, Clinton, New York.

Current through 1979 BAROQUE TO FOLK. Folk arts of the colonies of Spain as they relate to one another in content, form, and style. Special emphasis upon 19th-century New Mexican folk art as a primary example of a regional style. Religious art from Spain and her former colonies Current through February 5 of New Mexico, Mexico, Guatemala, DOLL HOUSE VILLAGE. "Doll village" Columbia, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, the antiques borrowed from private col- Philippines, Puerto Rico, Goa (Portulections. The museum itself, a home guese) and Ecuador are among the for most of its years since 1731, is approximately 150 to 200 objects on decorated in period style. A friendly display. Decorative arts illustrating the place and perfect for quiet browsing. variety and similarities of various colonial Wilton Historical Society, Wilton, Con- styles are also shown. Museum of International Folk Art, Sante Fe, New Mexico. necticut.

January 15-April 29, 1979 THE WOMAN FOLK ARTIST IN AMERICA. This exhibition brings together approximately 100 examples of folk art produced by identified women. Bed rugs, samplers, quilts, and other forms of needlework as well as watercolors, oils, pastels, and drawings give testimony to the depth and breadth of women's artistic achievements from the 17th century to the present day. Museum of American Folk Art, 49 West 53rd Street, New York, New York.

Current through January 21, 1979 ESKIMO ART. This exhibition features Eskimo sculpture, prints, and drawings. Some of the works are from the museum's own collection which was donated by Mr. and Mrs. James Houston. Houston is the former chairman of the Eskimo Arts Council and was also the Governor General of Baffin Island. Part of his private collection is also exhibited in the show. Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island.

Current through February 19 MEXICAN MASKS. The mask continues to be an intimate part of the festive and religious life of the Mexican people. These 75 contemporary works, made of a variety of materials, satisfy the human need to be what one would like to be in the eyes of others—or what one is afraid to be. An illustrated checklist is available. Renwick Gallery, National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington,D.C. Current through February 19 CLAY FIGURES FROM GUERRERO. For generations, the women of San Agustin Oapan in Mexico have continued to mold clay objects which the men then decorate. Most of these approximately 45 works are shaped like animals and people; in addition, there are bowls

Current through 1979 FANTASY AND ENCHANTMENT: SELECTIONS FROM THE GIRARD FOUNDATION COLLECTION. This exhibition aims to give the public an overview of a collection which is being donated to the State of New Mexico and will be housed at the Museum of International Folk Art. On display are toys and dolls, textiles, paintings and sculpture from many countries, installed in fun and imaginative settings designed by Alexander Girard. Museum of International Folk Art, Sante Fe,New Mexico. January 13-February 28, 1979 HAMILTON COLLEGE OUT OF THE ATTIC. An exhibition of etchings, furniture, paintings, etc., ranging from the late 18th to the early 20th century from the college's permanent collection.

March 12 LECTURE BY BEATRIX RUMFORD, Director of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center. Ms. Rumford will speak on "Recent Accessions of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center and How They Reflect Today's Tastes in Collecting." Museum of American Folk Art, 49 West 53rd Street, New York, New York.

April8 through 1979 MUSEUM OF INTERNATIONAL FOLK ART'S 25th ANNIVERSARY EXHIBITION. Items from the collections of the Museum of International Folk Art will illustrate the variety of its holdings in celebration of the museum's Silver Jubilee. Labels will inform the viewer concerning the history of the museum,

51


its foundress Florence Dibell Bartlett, and the plans for the new Girard Wing scheduled for construction this year. The folk art exhibited will consist of outstanding examples of sculpture, textiles, costumes, paintings, furniture, and decorative arts from many parts of the world. A small publication will accompany the exhibition. Museum of International Folk Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

May 15-June 24, 1979 Fall 1980 AMERICAN FOLK PAINTING, SELEC- THREE CENTURIES OF AMERICAN TIONS FROM THE COLLECTION OF FOLK ART. Forty painters will be MR. AND MRS. WILLIAM E. WILT- included with 316 examples of their SHIRE, III. The collection spans 100 major work. Whitney Museum of Ameryears of folk art and includes portraits, ican Art, New York, New York. landscapes, family scenes, religious, and genre scenes and several illuminated texts. Museum of American Folk Art, New York City.

Book Reviews Jack T. Ericson Editor

Items marked with an * may be purchased at The Museum Shop. Members receive a 10% discount.

*Fabian, Monroe H. THE PENNSYLVANIA-GERMAN DECORATED CHEST. New York: Universe Books, 1978. 230p., 8 x 10 in., 50 color and 200 black/white illus., list of illus., footnotes, notes to illus., bibliography, index. Foreword by Pastor Frederick S. Weiser. Vol. 12 of the publications of The Pennsylvania German Society. $25.00. In precise and scholarly fashion Monroe Fabian has written an excellent study of the Pennsylvania-German decorated chest. His 56-page essay discusses the European prototypes, the use of woods, construction details, choice of hardware, surface decoration, and the use made of chests in PennsylvaniaGerman households. Fabian finds the roots of the Pennsylvania-German Kischt (chest) in the cabinetmaking traditions of the German speaking areas of Europe. These traditions as well as the chests themselves, 52

were brought to Pennsylvania in the early years of the 18th century by German immigrants, particularly those from the Palatinate area. Gradually a process of Americanization overtook the Kischt. What resulted was a form of furniture which was neither German nor English, but rather a unique American form making use of German-style restrained decoration and English-style joinery. Chests continued to be made for many years, but by the beginning of the third decade of the 19th century Pennsylvania-German chests decorated in the classic form were a thing of the past.

Glee Krueger has prepared a concise, scholarly, and enjoyable introduction to American samplers to accompany examples from the Theodore H. Kapnek collection. Her essay defines a sampler, deals with American needlework education and teachers, explores the designs and their sources, and describes the physical characteristics of samplers. In two appendices she provides further information about individual sampler& and genealogical notes. An extensive bibliography completes this work. The Kapnek collection, which was formed during the last 10 years, is remarkable for the high artistic and needlework quality of its samplers and their Universe Books excellent state of preservation. Mr. 381 Park Avenue Kapnek has employed professional restorNew York, New York 10016 ation and preservation personnel to care for his collection, as well as qualified *Krueger, Glee. researchers to authenticate his purA GALLERY OF AMERICAN SAM- chases as American. The samplers in PLERS. THE THEODORE H. KAPNEK this book are highlighted by the excellent COLLECTION. New York: E.P. Dutton, photographs produced by E. P. Dutton. 1978. 96pp., 8 x 11 in., 73 color and 71 black/white illus., appendices, bib- Museum ofAmerican Folk Art liography, paper, $10.95. hard cover, 49 West 53rd Street $19.95 New York, New York 10019


Exhibition Schedule Members' Private Preview

Title

Public Opening

Closing

January 16, 1979

April 29, 1979

May 14, 1979

May 15, 1979

June 24, 1979

July 2, 1979

July 3, 1979

September 2, 1979

January 15, 1979 The Woman Folk Artist in America Curators:C. Kurt Dewhurst and Marsha MacDowell American Folk Painting— Selections from the Collection of Mr. and Mrs. William E. Wiltshire, III Hawaiian Quilts Curators: Thomas K. Woodard and Blanche Greenstein

Addition to Museum hours: Beginning on Thursday, November 2, 1978, the Museum extended its hours and is now open on Thursday evenings until 8 P.M. These additional hours are made possible through the joint efforts of the Museum Docent Program and the New York Junior League. The Museum is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation offolk 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 acceptfor exhibition a piece that isfor sale or intended to be for sale in the immediate future.

NktiA JANOS AND ROSS 1000.000000001100110011001

SPECIALIZING IN MUSEUM QUALITY AMISH QUILTS, PIECED AND APPLIQUE QUILTS (c. 1840-1940), AND AMERICAN FOLK ART.

For the discriminating collector and for elegant gift giving. BARBARA S. JANOS BARBARA ROSS By Appointment Only 110 East End Avenue(5E) New York, N.Y. 10028 (212)988-0407 LOG CABIN—LIGHT AND DARK, Amish, Pennsylvania c. 1900-1910, size 66" x 76" All cotton. Mint cond.

We are interested in purchasing exceptional quilt and folk art. Photos promptly returned.

53


The White House Fine American Antiques Interior Design Consultants • Furniture Restoration

Folk carved and inlaid wash stick

215 Myrtle Avenue, Rte. 202, Boonton, N.J. Tuesday through Saturday, 10-4 (201) 335-4926 or 839-7258

Period Interiors Painted and Stencilled

Oil on Canvas. Sgnd. & Dtd. on reverse: Agness Boardman May 1898. 26" x 30"

WIGGINS BROTHERS ITINERANT ARTISTS R.F.D.#1 Hale Rd. Tilton, N.H.03276 (603)286-3046 or(603)286-8562 54

7ea446atet iVefeilae4 "itucGtery awe Doug 20414 74e eittuwitoada

Oedeack,

(20)439-222/

p. grs.r


PHYLLIS HADERS

Pieced. Applique, and Amish Quilts Circa 1840-1930

"Little Sawtooth" Cradle Quilt from my collection on the cover of the November 1978 issue of House & Garden Magazine

By appointment (212)832-8181 Mail address: 136 East 64 Street, New York, N.Y. 10021

12 . Prior/Hamblen school portrait. Overall dimensions: 21% x 25/

Ohio Amish crib quilt

normamilliamwangel american antiques andfolk ar t 11058 seven hill lane. potomac, maryland by appointment only shop: 34 east loudoun st 703-777-6991

20854 301-299-8430

leesburg, va. 22075

i&R MOLLENKOPF Old Pine Farm Peru,Vermont 05148 18th & early 19th century American folk art,furniture,and accessories.

Appointment advised 802-824-5945


Joshua Schreier Sanford & Patricia Smith AMERICAN ANTIQUES—WESTERN SCULPTURE 19 East 76 Street, New York, New York 10021 •(212)929-3121

19th Century American carousel horse. Original paint and condition. Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 11 to 4 Saturday, 11 to 5:00

Rare decorated table from our small stock of country furniture, earthenware and samplers.

SHEILA RIDEOUT Please phone (203)263-4239

56

Woodbury, Ct.

photography

31 Warren St NYC 10007 212.233-0254


THE MAGAZINE DEDICATED TO DECOY COLLECTING & CARVING

A quarterly publication for all those interested in decoys. Beginners, seasoned collectors - dealers, or carvers. Informative articles about old & new carvers - great collections- a mail auction - decoy show dates & results - a classified section to buy, sell & swap. — A real must for you if you are interested in decoys.

To Subscribe Send $8.00 To:

Kathy Schoemer An interesting and affordable collection of American country antiques offered for sale in our home.

DECOY WORLD 104 Maryland Avenue Cambridge, MD. 21613

by appointment

(203) 966-0841

AARNE ANTON BASES

New Canaan, Conn.

THE ESTATE OF JUSTIN McCARTHY

FINE BASES IN LUCITE, METAL, WOOD Specializing in Folk & Primitive Art

George Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1962 28" x 40"

Wood swordfish weathervane in old paint. Maine. Lacquered metal base.

(212) 924-7146 By appointment 12 West 18th St., N.Y.C. 10011

ERIC MAKLER GALLERY 1633 Spruce Street Philadelphia, Pa. (215) 735-5050

Also works by: Gatto, Savitsky, Labduska, Felini, Ironsides, Stringfield, Ambrose

Interested in acquiring new works I would like to purchase American folk and Indian sculpture

57


CHARLES L. FLINT at Crazy Horse Box 88, Main St. Lenox, Massachusetts 01240 Call 413-637-1634 or 413-243-9835

THE E.M.C. FRENCH

DEALER IN QUALITY SHAKER GOOD PAINTED COUNTRY- FOLK ART

Concord Ontiques Fairs

Rare whirligig. beautifully carved and weathered. polychromed. From South Hadley. Mass. Ca. 1905-10

New Hampshire Highway Hotel 1979 JANUARY 21st FEBRUARY 18th MARCH 18th APRIL 8th 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

1. Pair of Enfield, N.H. side chairs with date 1815. 2. Sewing table from Harvard. Mass. (cherry and maple). 3. Very rare Shaker lighting device from Hancock. Mass., inred. 4. Rare sewing cupboard from Hancock. Mass.. signed Garfield, Hancock. Mass. 5. Unique Shaker tilter arm chair (no. 5) Mt. Lebanon. N.Y.; ca. 1860

Admission — $1.50

Managed by

S. K. FRENCH Exeter, N. H.

Are you reading a second-hand copy of

THE CLARION? If so, you can receive your own personal copy four times a year by entering your own subscription. Simply complete the order form below and mail to us with payment. Museum of American Folk Art 49 West 53rd St. New York, N.Y. 10019

El 1

year individual membership —$20.00

Name Address City & State

DAVIS MATHER

Zip


, 4 .. . . o

.• intiQue 0.uitt Restoration .0( -atso Custom Made ,5tretthers Tor dispt4ing Quilts U 2,A

,

Rag Carpets sewn . together for drea Rugs

CA 4

585 NO.BARRY AVE. MAMARONECK NEW YORK 10543 914-698-8535,shop; 914-948-1857, home BY APPOINTMENT, PLEASE.

W

OA

Pie Gatinat 230 v.totb St. 1A.,n.loot44 212- st - 3259

0 ('' 7

.,S 4,

.ICo

,

is

1/4,6, <). ., ' lk •

Many of America's fine old buildings are slowly crumbling to ruin behind vacant windows. Others are being pulled down in the name of progress. But there's still life in many of these buildings. With a little creativity, they can again become vibrant parts of their diverse community. It's happening in some cities. Once-deserted old warehouses and factories are alive and bustling with shops, restaurants, night clubs, banks, apartments. It can happen in your town, too. 71& Find out how by joining The National Trust for Historic Preservation. For membership information, write Membership Department, Office of Public Affairs, The National Trust for Historic Preservation, 740 Jackson Place, NW, Washington, DC 20006.

Waste not. immunimm

18th & 19th Century American furniture, boxes, turned work and the unusual to be bought in a working cabinet shop where!also restore period furniture.

0\\IQ

IWO ROO C.i

Robert Sutter Antiques in Wood

Items in my stock currently include a jigsawed painted spread eagle with unusual carved wings; a wonderful early baby's rocking horse in original paint; New York cherry turned candelabra; many other interesting things.

Constance Bernendoff Al T ICZIJES L€ the

CLAFLIN HOUSE On the Common.

‘ 411

Lyme, New Hampshire 03768 603-795-2672 NEW ENGLAND COUNTRY FURNITURE Samplers Stoneware Qt.iitts

Hooked 1;413s ET' Embellishments

59


JOHN C. NEWCOMER 1200 WASHINGTON ST., HARPERS FERRY, W. VA. 25425 304-535-6902

Unusual Whirligig Circa 1920窶認ound in Virginia Some restoration 20" high-48" long-20" wide Wonderful Colors

Shop Hours: Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. or by appointment

Index to Advertisers Ackerman Antiques,Paul L. 16 America Hurrah 17 Anderson, Mama 55 Anton, Aarne,Bases 57 Bergendoff Antiques, Constance 59 Decoy World 57 Diamant,H.& G. 9 Doyle Galleries Inc., William 8 Dutton & Co., E. P. 10 Flint at Crazy Horse, Charles L. 7,58 French, S. K. 58 Fuller, Edmund L. inside front cover Galinat,Pie 59 Haders,Phyllis 55 Janos & Ross 53 Johnson, Jay inside back cover Kelter -Malce 13 Larsen, Isabelita R. 56 Leech Associates, Robinson, Realtors 12

60

Makler Gallery, Eric 57 Mather, Davis 58 Mollenkopf, J. & R. 55 Muleskinner Antiques 16 The National Trust for Historic Preservation 59 Newcomer, John C. 60 Rideout, Sheila 56 Sack, Inc., Israel 1 Schoellkopf, George E. 17 Schoemer,Kathy 57 Schreier, Joshua 56 Smith, S.& P. 56 Sotheby Park Bernet 11, 15 Sutter, Robert 59 Tewksbury Antiques 54 Wangel, Norma & William 55 The White House Wiggins Brothers 54 Woodard,Thos. K. 2


A Special Exhibition of Shaker Furniture and Artifacts Presented by Greenwillow Farm Ltd. AND Paintings by Michigan Folk Artist Kathy Jakobsen AT

JAY JOHNSON AMERICA'S FOLK HERITAGE GALLERY 37 West 20th Street, Room 706 New York, N.Y. 10011 (212) 243-4336

11111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111111! 1 ,.. f‘t • i,

sl

r

% %

'es

1/111

4

• Special Preview: Thurs., Jan. 18th., 1979 6:00 pm-9:00 pm Show Runs: Thurs., Jan. 18th., 1979-Feb. 18th., 1979 Open: Saturday and Sunday, 1:00 pm-5:00 pm All other times by appointment only (212) 243-4336 (518) 392-9654 In New York City

011114 •. /4

40.••••• --, • 4Z/ !/-*}D4', cilers. 414 ' ! in • flare

I,""-rillH11111

i• •

a.s.

Shaker ab Oa sift s for Museurns-""'. AD 4D :z ,A is •and Collectors. --: .„, Appraisals.0 •

41

LTD.

IP

518-392-9654 Dr. Robert F. W. Meader, Director Emeritus of the Shaker Museum in Old Chatham, N.Y., will be guest host and will autograph copies of his book "Illustrated Guide to Shaker Furniture" (Dover).


71:

ifgr

,


The Clarion (Winter 1979)