Folk Art (Fall 1992)

Page 1


FRANK J. MIELE gallery

A PREVIEW OF FALL EXHIBITIONS Selections from the Collection of David L. Davies Davies was among the earliest collectors to embrace American folk art of the twentieth-century, and over the past twenty years he has assembled an extraordinary collection of work by self-taught contemporary artists, including outstanding works by Vestie Davis, John William ("Uncle Jack") Dey, Victor Joseph Gatto, Gustav Klumpp, Lawrence Lebduska, Harry Lieberman, Justin McCarthy, Lamont ("Old Ironsides") Pry, Jack Savitsky, Inez Nathaniel Walker, and Malcah Zeldis, among others.

September 1 through October 4

The Paintings of Sylvia Alberts October 6 through November 8

Sally Cook: Pictures and Poems November 10 through December 6

The Gallery features the work of self-taught American artists of the 20th and 19th centuries.

Tues-Fri 11-6, Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5 1262 Madison Avenue New York, N.Y. 10128 (212) 876-5775


"WHIRLIGIG OF A HESSIAN SOLDIER" 24"in height, Pennsylvania origin, pine with metal fittings. Ex collection: Bernard Barenholtz.

"SUPERB 19TH CENTURY STILL LIFE PAINTING" 18"x 23", oil on canvas(sight),ca. 1850. The painting is in one of the finest grain painted frames extant.

17 East 96th Street, New York, New York 10128 (212) 348-5219 Hours: 2:00 P.M. to 6:00 P.M. Tues. through Sat. & By Appointment

Die Heilige Dreieinigkeit Vomziller=Thal, 1915, graphite on paper, 26 1/2 x 28 1/2 inches, 67 x 72 cm


Exhibition: September 12 - October 17, 1992


FAX 941-7841

The Phyllis Haders Quilt Collection Part I - October 24, 1992 Part II - January 1993 Auctions to be held in our galleries at 502 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10022. For viewing dates and further information call the American Folk Art Department at 212/546-1182. For catalogues please telephone 718/784--1480. Legacy quilt, American, dated 1908. Estimate: $20,000-30,000


Late nineteenth-century pieced quilt. Star with Princess Feather. Mennonite. Pennsylvania. 76 x 78 inches.

BLANCHE GREENSTEIN THOMAS K. WOODARD 799 Madison Avenue New York, N.Y. 10021 •(212) 988-2906E

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




ARCHANGEL GABRIEL WEATHERVANE; artist unknown; American;c. 1840;painted sheet 2". 1 metal;35 x 32/ Gift ofMrs. Adele Earnest 1963.1.1

Folk Art is published four times a year by the Museum of American Folk Art, 61 West 62nd Street, NY, NY 10023, Tel. 212/977-7170,Fax 212/977-8134. Annual subscription rate for members is included in membership dues. Copies are mailed to all members. Single copy $5.00. Published and copyright C 1992 by the Museum of American Folk Art,61 West 62nd Street, NY,NY 10023. The cover and contents of Folk Art are fully protected by copyright and may not be reproduced in any manner without written consent. Opinions expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the Museum of American Folk Art. Unsolicited manuscripts or photographs should be accompanied by return postage. Folk Art assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage of such materials. Change of address: Please send both old and new addresses and allow five weeks for change. Advertising: Folk Art accepts advertisements only from advertisers whose reputation is recognized in the trade, but despite the care with which the advertising department screens photographs and texts submitted by its advertisers, it cannot guarantee the unquestionable authenticity of objects or quality of services advertised in its pages or offered for sale by its advertisers, nor can it accept responsiblity for misunderstandings that may arise from the purchase or sale of objects or services advertised in its pages. The Museum is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation offolk art and feels it is a violation of its principles to be involved in or to appear lobe involved in the sale of works of art. For this reason, the Museum will not knowingly accept advertisements for Folk Art which illustrate or describe objects that have been exhibited at the Museum within one year of placing an advertisement.

































es, this is your Clarion under the new banner of Folk Art. What's in a name, you say? Well, quite a lot. Folk Art says that we represent the broadest interpretation of the field, from eighteenth- and nineteenthcentury folk art to the most contemporary. As the Museum moves forward under the leadership of its director, Gerard C. Wertkin, into a new phase of development and maturity, so does its publication. To signify this, and to plug into a rapidly expanding public awareness of folk art, we've renamed our magazine to more clearly state what we are about. As Folk Art, we can effectively reach out to new enthusiasts, and welcome them into our growing community. This Fall issue, we hope, reflects that outreach. We've included essays on the folk art of Latin America, the work of an Italian-American sculptor, and the Nadelman Folk Art Collection. As a new feature, which we plan to repeat throughout the year, we've also included an interview with a contemporary folk art collector. The Latin American community has long understood the importance of folk art in its culture. The current exhibition Visiones del Pueblo: The Folk Art ofLatin America, and our lead story by the exhibition's curator, Dr. Marion Oettinger, Jr., introduces us to this rich heritage. Dr. Oettinger, a cultural anthropologist, has specialized in Latin American folk art for over twenty years. His affinity for his subject permeates his writing, his lectures, and his careful curating of this extraordinary exhibition. Italian-born Silvio Zoratti came to this country in 1919 and worked for over a quarter of a century for the Nickel Plate Railroad. When he retired, he turned to art and created an impressive body of folk sculpture. Gene Kangas, a professor of art and himself a sculptor, has given us Zoratti's Garden, a sensitive and informative essay on Zoratti, whom he had the pleasure of knowing for many years. Although the sculpture garden has been recently dismantled, Kangas allows us a peek at the sublime environment Zoratti created. The artist Elie Nadelman had by 1921, with the support and cooperation of his wife, Viola, amassed and installed a vast and impressive collection offolk art in their own museum. Christine I. Oaldander has diligently researched the Nadelman Collection and shares her findings with us in Pioneers in Folk Art Collecting: Elie and Viola Nadelman. Our membership director Beth Bergin, and her associate Chris Cappiello, while on their travels with the Folk Art Explorers' Club, had the delightful opportunity to meet with and interview the avid folk art collector Randy Siegel of Atlanta. Mr. Siegel graciously welcomed them into his home and offered some valuable insights into his motivation for collecting contemporary folk art. We are grateful for his enthusiastic and candid remarks. I know you will enjoy this first in a planned series of interviews with collectors. I want to thank George H. Meyer and Milt Simpson for contributing the necessary funds for additional color in the pages of our last issue. I also want to welcome on behalf of the membership department, all of our new members and to thank our past members who have increased their membership contribution in this last quarter. Unfortunately, because of space constraints, we were unable to include our regular membership listing in this issue. I am excited about our new name and new direction, and hope you feel the same.



Rosemary Gabriel, Editor and Publisher Johnson & Simpson, Graphic Designers Mel! Cohen,Publications Associate Marilyn Brechner, Advertising Manager Hildegard 0. Vetter, Production Manager Craftsmen Litho, Printers Grid Typographic Services, Inc., Typography MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FOLK ART

Dr. Robert Bishop, Director 1977-1991 Administration

Gerard C. Wertkin, Director Karen S. Schuster, Director ofMuseum Operations Luanne Cantor, Controller Maryann Warakomski, Assistant Controller Mary Ziegler, Administrative Assistant Sylvia Sinckler, Shop Accountant Jeffrey Grand, Accountant Brent Erdy, Reception Roberto C. Collazo, Mailroom and Maintenance Collections & Exhibitions

Stacy C. Hollander, Curator of Collections/Lore Kann Research Fellow Alice J. Hoffman, Director ofExhibitions Ann-Marie Reilly, Registrar Catherine Fukushima,Director ofthe Eva and Morris Feld Gallery/Director ofPublic Programs Elizabeth V. Warren, Consulting Curator Howard Lanser, Consulting Exhibition Designer Departments

Beth Bergin, Membership Director Marie S. DiManno, Director ofMuseum Shops Susan Flamm,Public Relations Director Constance J. Collins, Director ofDevelopment Edith C. Wise, Director ofLibrary Services Janey Fire, Photographic Services Chris Cappiello, Membership Associate Catherine Dunworth, Associate Director ofDevelopment Alice J. Hoffman, Director ofLicensing and Product Development Programs

Barbara W Cate, Director, Folk Art Institute Lee Kogan, Assistant Director, Folk Art Institute/Senior Research Fellow Phyllis A. Tepper, Registrar, Folk Art Institute/Director, New York State Quilt Project Dr. Marilynn Karp, Director, New York University Master's and Ph.D. Program in Folk Art Studies Dr. Judith Reiter Weissman, Coordinator, New York University Program Cathy Rasmussen, Director ofSpecial Projects Eugene P Sheehy, Museum Bibliographer Arlene Hochman, Coordinator, Docent Programs Howard P. Fertig, Chairman, Friends Committee Katie Cochran, Coordinator; Fall Antiques Show Museum Shop Staff Managers: Dorothy Gargiulo, Caroline Hohenrath, Rita Pollitt; Mail Order: Beverly McCarthy, Coordinator: Diana Robertson; Volunteers: Marie Anderson, Laura Aswad, Judy Baker, Olive Bates, Jennifer Bigelow, Frances Burton,Evelyn Chugerman, Rick Conant, Ann Coppinger, Sally Elfant, Annette Ellis, Tricia Ertman,Kathleen Fitzpatrick, Millie Gladstone, Morris Glayes, Elli Gordon,Inge Graff, Cyndi Gruber, Edith Gusoff, Lynne Hellman, Elizabeth Howe, Bonnie Hunt, Eileen Jear, Nan Keenan, Annette Levande, Arleen Luden, Priscilla Machold, Katie McAuliffe, Laura McCormick, Kathleen McNamara, Nancy Mayer, Theresa Naglack, Pat Pancer, Marie Peluso, Frances Rojack, Phyllis Selnick, Lorraine Seubert, Myra Shaskan, Denise Siracusa, Lola Silvergleid, Blair Sorrel, Maxine Spiegel, Doris StackGreen, Sonya Stern, Mary Wamsley, Marian Whitley, Doris Wolfson. Museum of American Folk Art Book and Gift Shops 62 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10112-1504 212/247-5611 Two Lincoln Square(Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th) New York, NY 10023 212/496-2966


FALL 1992


RICHARD D. HAZEL AMERICAN FOLK ARTIST Richard D. Hazel invites you to visit his studio in historic and picturesque Warren County, New Jersey. As a self-taught master of the hand-painted surface, his works have been placed in many prestigious collections. Each piece is signed and documented with a certificate of authenticity.

SPECIAL EXHIBITION Recently completed pieces by the artist now on view and available.


atterp 1775 Route 31 & Quarry Road, P.O. Box 253, Oxford, New Jersey 07863 •(908)453-3762 Wagon Seat, 41"l. x 251/2"h.



' 44



2661 Cedar Street Berkeley, California 94708 510/845-4949 Bonnie Grossman Director 9

• We specialize in exceptional 19th and 20th Century handmade objects. Our extensive inventory includes quilts; carved canes; tramp art; and naive, outsider, and visionary art. Phone for current exhibit information and appointments.

Embroidered cotton and wool crazy quilt by Mother Elizabeth B. Jones, age 59, Kentucky,c. 1885

Pair of Connecticut cherry spooned-back Queen Anne chairs, c. 1740. Part of a collection of fine pasteboard bandboxes. A log cabin pattern hooked runner in excellent condition, 79.5" 031".

James and Elizabeth Harley/Yellow House Antiques Shaker * Americana * Furniture * Textiles * Folk Art RR 1 Box 155 Reading, Vermont 05062 (802)484-7799 Ten Miles South of the Woodstock Green


(clockwise from top left) Howard Finster R A Miller Frank Pickle

Work also by Leroy Almon Linda Anderson Robyn Beverland

For more information and a complete price list, please send a self addressed stamped envelope to:

Ginger Young

Billy Ray Hussey Ned Berry Grover Nix

Specializing in

Marie Rogers

Georgia Blizzard Richard Burnside Ned Cartledge Lonnie Holley

Ginger Young PO Box 15417 Washington, DC

southern outsider art and pottery By appointment 202-543-0273

W J Gordy James Harold Jennings Michael & Melvin Crocker Tubby Brown

Woodie Long B F Perkins Jimmie Lee Sudduth Mose Tolliver

The King! A tribute to Elvis


Unique painted and decorated games table retaining its original carved and polychromed chess set in the folk art tradition, Massachusetts, c. 1845. The unusual suspended box was designed to hold the chess pieces and a copy of The Chess Player's Handbook, by Howard Staunton, (London, 1848), which is inscribed by John P. Searle, of Lowell, Massachusetts, who owned the table in 1860. Top 17 1/4 x 17 1/4 inches; height 30 3/4 inches. Price: $38,000.

DAVID A. SCHOUSCH frico4luvicaied 30 EAST 76TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10021 212-439-6100








These recommendations were submitted to the Board of Trustees and staff as part of the six-month period of planning, which culminated in an all-day Board/staff retreat in May. Conclusions reached during this process are being articulated as part of a long-range plan now in development. I am pleased to acknowledge with appreciation the important contributions to this effort of the International Advisory Council, the professional staff, and the Board of Trustees. As this issue of Folk Art goes to press the Museum staff is busy at work completing arrangements for the installation of "Visiones del Pueblo: The Folk Art of Latin America!' This landmark presentation has been made possible by Ford Motor Company. It is with pleasure that I acknowledge with thanks the thoughtful collaboration of Mabel H. Brandon, Ford's Director of Corporate Programming, and the generous interest of all our friends at Ford. Bob Bishop remains in our thoughts as we prepare for the dedication of the Robert Bishop Gallery and the presentation of"Bob Bishop: A Life in Folk Art" next Spring. Recent additions to the list of donors to the Robert Bishop Memorial Fund include Sanford L. Smith and the American Folk Art Society of Los Angeles. Members and friends wishing to join the effort may still do so. My thanks to these recent donors and to all of you who have expressed your confidence and support so generously


he first issue of the Museum's magazine appeared in Winter 1971 as a six-page typescript newsletter. Although slightly expanded in size and content, The Clarion was published about once each year in substantially the same format until Spring, 1977. Then, under the leadership of Dr. Robert Bishop, the magazine assumed its current awardwinning format and became a quarterly. With this issue, the publication enters a new phase in its development. It appears for the first time as Folk Art, signaling its mission more clearly. The Clarion has been a well-loved symbol of the Museum;as Folk Art it will be better equipped to attract new readers to its pages. To underscore its continuity with The Clarion, the present system of volume numbering has been maintained. The Museum has always viewed folk art as an elastic term encompassing a wide variety of artistic expressions. With its new name, Folk Art will continue to provide broad coverage of the field, as well as specialized features speaking directly to the interests of our readers. We will, for example, regularly introduce major collectors of American folk art and their collections. I know you will find Folk Art both a sound and scholarly source of information and lively and entertaining reading. The Museum recently lost a wonderful friend in Daniel Cowin, for many years a deeply committed trustee and generous supporter. Daniel had a special interest in the Museum's publishing endeavors and had discussed with us various directions for The Clarion prior to his death. He was a gentleman of great grace and dignity, and a thoughtful and dedicated colleague. The entire Museum family and! will miss his wise counsel and advice and the warmth of his friendship. In Daniel's memory, his family has generously established a fund to benefit the Museum. It is with profound gratitude that I acknowledge the kindness of Daniel's wife, Joyce, and their children, Andrew, Kenneth and Dana. I am also pleased to acknowledge with thanks the following donors to the Daniel Cowin Memorial Fund: Mr. & Mrs. Harris J. Ashton; Rhonie & George E Berlinger; Mr. & Mrs. Henry Brandt; Jonathan L. Brandt; Mr. & Mrs. Maurits E. Edersheim; Jane M.Eisner; Mrs. Eli Ellis; Mr. & Mrs. Thomas W Evans; Helaine & Burton Fendelman; Dr. Frederic Charles Fenig; Steven M. Foote; Mr. & Mrs. Richard B. Fraclunan; Ethel Harper; Mr. & Mrs. Mortimer H. Hess, Jr.; Barbara & Tommy Hess; Harry A. Jacobs, Jr.; Mr.& Mrs. John W. Kadlecik; Mrs. William W. Karatz; Mr. & Mrs. Carl Kemper; Hilda Kirby; Mr. & Mrs. Fred Klingenstein; Mr. & Mrs. John Klingenstein; Ruth D. Kobin; Mr. & Mrs. Irving S. Levitt; Nadine Netter Levy; Mr. & Mrs. Sheldon B. Lubar; the Virginia & Leonard Marx Foundation; Mr. & Mrs. Leslie P Ogden; Ann R. Oliver; Michael M. O'Mara; Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. Rickershauser, Jr.; William J. Ruane; Berelle K. Samuel; John V. Smith Inc.; Peter L. Smith; Hope G. Solinger; Mrs. Philip H. Steckler, Jr.; Mr. & Mrs. Thomas W. Strauss; Karel Fierman Wahrsager; and Keith S. Wellin. A special Museum facility, program or space will be named in Daniel Cowin's memory As I mentioned in a previous column, this has been a time of intense planning at the Museum. Members of the Museum's International Advisory Council met last January and after a day of deliberations presented a series of recommendations to the Museum.

Executive Vice President Frances S. Martinson, Esq. and Trustee Maureen Taylor at quarterly Board meeting, June 10, 1992.


Art From The Heart.


Collection of Native American Art Art ofthe American Indian Frontier: The Collecting of Chandler and Pohrt premiers at the National Gallery of Art through January 24, 1993. This traveling exhibition of 152 objects reveals the dynamic character of art produced by the Woodland and Plains Indians in the nineteenth century. Milford G. Chandler and Richard A. Pohrt formed a close friendship based on a lifelong interest in Native American art and culture that resulted in an unparalleled collection of more than four thousand objects. The co-curators of the exhibition are David W. Penney, associate curator, department of African, Oceanic, and New World cultures, the Detroit Institute of

Arts, and George P. Horse Capture, a member of the Gros Ventre tribe and formerly the curator for the Plains Indian Museum at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center. A 17-minute video presentation, The Journey ofthe Chandler/Pohrt Collection, runs continuously for the duration of the exhibition. Both the exhibition and film can be seen in the East Building of the National Gallery of Art at Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington D.C. For further information call 202/737-4125.

Sam Doyle Historian We have an excellent collection of Sam Doyle's work including "Cipyo", which appears in the Art Random book on Doyle. Plus many other museum quality pieces by other artists.

Call for more information. (803) 785-2318 Three Locations: 220 Cordillo Parkway Hilton Head Is., SC 29928 The Westin Resort Port Royal Plantation Hilton Head Is., SC

TiETRRF,IONO The South's Premier Folk Art Gallery


Highway 21 St. Helena's Island, SC Louanne LaRoche, Director

New Trends in Quiltmaking Visions —The Art ofthe Quilt, an exhibit of 70 quilts selected from 953 submissions, sponsored by Quilt San Diego, opens October 3, 1992, and runs through January 3, 1993, at San Diego's Museum of History. "Visions" has an international flavor this year with five foreign countries represented in the final selection: Japan, Australia, England, Germany, and Switzerland. A portion of the show will travel to Colorado, Kentucky, and Maine in 1993. Contact: Lynn Johnson, 619/695-2822.

CROW SHIELD AND COVER; artist unknown; Montana; 1860;rawhide (buffalo), wool stroud, glass beads, and feather. Courtesy Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, Wyoming.Chandler-Pohrt Collection

FOUR QUEBEC FAMILY FIGURES;artist unknown; C.1880; carved polychromed wood.Quay Collection

New World Folk Art Silvio Zoratti are featured. Also Cleveland State University's art gallery commemorates the on view are Amish quilts, as well Columbus Quincentenary with the as Native American and Euroexhibition New World Folk Art: American decoys. Many selections document the mutual Old World Survivals and CrossCultural Inspiration, 1492-1992, influences resulting from encounters of indigenous and from September 25 through October 23, 1992. Included in the immigrant peoples. For exhibition are over eighty works information on the opening reception and additional gallery of sculpture, painting, textiles, pottery, and furniture. Major activities call 216/687-2103. works by Felipe and Leroy Archuleta, John Perates, and

Birch (signed), 1987 24'/2" tall, Red oak burl, cow horn, steel, bark-tanned buffalo hide, linen and marlin

Figure; Gary

Trego, Wog°,Trego A new exhibition, Three Artists Named Trego, devoted to the work of three Bucks County artists — Jonathan, William and Edward Trego — is now on view at the Mercer Museum's Exhibit Gallery, Pine and Ashland Streets, Doylestown, Pennsylvania. The show examines the work of these

painters from three different generations with contrasting perspectives: Jonathan, the painter as tradesman, William, the painter as artist, and Edward,the painter as part-time hobbyist. The exhibit runs through April 30, 1993. For further information call the Mercer Museum, administered by The Bucks County Historical Society at 215/345-0210.









Spanish Colonial Masterworks

Carved and Painted Whirlygig Saturday,October 31,1992 at 10 a.m. in Bolton,MA. Previews: October 28,2-5 p.m. October 29,2-8 p.m. October 30,2-8 p.m. October 31,8-9:30 a.m. Illustrated catalogue #1472 available for $20/23.00 by mail, price list included. For further information please contact Stephen Fletcher at(508)779-6241.

STUNNER Auctioneers and Appraisers ofAntiques and Fine Art • ...•=111%1=

357 Main Street 2 Newbury Street Bolton,MA 01740 Boston,MA 02116 (508)779-6241 (617)236-1700


The impact of European exploration on Native American civilization is the theme of Splendors of the New World: Spanish Colonial Masterworks, an exhibition on view now through November 29, 1992, at the Museum of Art, Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute in Utica, New York. Hispanic colonial art grew out of the union of two powerful civilizations that in many ways were the antithesis of one another, resulting in a powerful new art form which blended European and Native American styles. This exhibition features forty secular and ecclesiastical paintings, sculptures, precious metalworks, furniture, and decorative arts from the permanent collection of the New Orleans Museum of Art. Charles L. Mo, Director of Collections and Exhibitions at the Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina, organized the show. For visitor information call 315/797-0000.

LORD OF THE EARTHQUAKES WITH SAINT CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA AND SAINT CATHERINE OF SIENA; artist unknown; Peru; late seventeenth—early eighteenth century; oil on fabric; 33 x 24. Courtesy New Orleans Museum of Art

Campaign to Acquire Ulysses Davis Collection King-Tisdell Cottage Foundation, a non-profit educational institution, mounted a $600,000 campaign to acquire the 227 woodcarvings from the estate of folk carver Ulysses Davis of Savannah, Georgia. The foundation also plans to remodel the

Beach Institute — an AfricanAmerican cultural center—to create a permanent exhibition space for the work. Contributions may be sent to: Ulysses Davis Collection Campaign, 105 East 37th Street, Savannah, GA 31401. Ulysses Davis 1913-1990


John McGuire prepares to carve a handle for a basket

Contemporary American Folk Art

using a drawknife and shavehorse.

225 East de Vargas St. Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 (505) 989-4620

Update On Basketmaker John McGuire's latest publication Basketry: The Nantucket Tradition, Lark Books, Asheville, North Carolina, was recently given the Art Book ofthe Year Award for 1991. McGuire is considered the nation's leading authority on traditional New England Splint Basketmaking. His work was featured in the Fall 1987 issue of The Clarion and the April 1992 issue of Colonial Homes magazine. This summer McGuire

7 e----° 1. a') ,

is the recipient of a Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation Visual Arts Residency Grant. Peters Valley Craft Center, in Layton, New Jersey, will host McGuire as artist in residence.

Annual Meeting in LA The Folk Art Society of America holds its fifth Annual Meeting in Los Angeles, California, from October 16 through 18, 1992. Grass-Roots Environments: Are They Worth Preserving? will be the theme of a day-long symposium held at the Craft and Folk Art Museum,60678 Wilshire Boulevard, on October 17th. Other activities include a curator's

guided tour of the exhibition Parallel Visions: Modern Artists and Outsider Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a visit to Simon Rodia's Watts Towers, and the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum. Registration packets will be mailed to all members. For additional information please write to: Folk Art Society of America,P.O. Box 17041, Richmond, VA 23226.

Ethel Wright(Big Mama)Mohamed 1906-1992

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Ethel Wright Mohamed, noted fiber artist of Belzoni, Mississippi, died on February 15, 1992. Mohamed recorded her memories in detailed embroideries that reflected her optimistic life view. She began to stitch her pictures after her husband, Hassan, died to keep herself occupied and to celebrate happier times. Her legacy of approxi-

mately 150 brightly colored stitched pictures on linen remain with her family: In 1974, Mohamed was honored and participated by invitation in the Smithsonian Institution's Festival of American Folldife. —Lee Kogan

r""A , • '1? Agit\4 c0A.


re eta

Rev. Howard Finster, "Rules of Sex", cutout, 47"x17", 1986

representing Johnson Antonio Ike Morgan Johnny Banks Naomi Polk Rev. Johnnie Swearingen Ned Cartledge Mamie Deschillie Art Vigil "Uncle Pete" Drgac Derek Webster among others *Also available: Clementine Hunter."Saturday Night", oil on wood panel, 16"x24", mid-60's, mint condition, and very early Eddie Arning crayon drawings on paper.





[thin the shiny interiors of places like Lisi's


Pittsfield, Silver Top, and Tumble Inn, an American

folk figure—the short-order cook—reigns supreme. It is here that his specialties,"BLT-hold-the-mayo," or "burgerand-fries-comin'-right-up," are served on heavy plates to hungry travelers seated at Naugahyde banquettes. The Museum will salute the American roadside, its diners and eateries, and the nostalgia of cross-country trips at this year's Opening Night Preview Benefit—"Back Roads and ByWays: Explore the U.S.A." The Preview will be held Wednesday evening, October 21, 1992,from 6 to 9 pm at the MT. PROSPECT DINER; John Baeder; 1988; watercolor; 18 x 26"

Passenger Terminal, Pier 92, Berths 5 and 6 at the Hudson River and West 52nd Street. Cochairmen of the Preview, Museum Trustees Lucy Danziger and Cynthia Schaffner, have asked painter John Baeder to give artistic direction to the evening. Baeder, represented by the O.K. Harris gallery in New York, has spent the last twenty years documenting the iconography of the American roadside in his photo-realist paintings and in his books,Diners, and Gas Food and Lodging. The caterer David Ziff Cooking, Inc., will offer a bounty of diner specialties drawn from the menus of diners and eateries found along America's back roads and "blue" highways. Bluegrass music by the New Blue Velvet Band, graciously underwritten by Country Living magazine, will add a unique zest to the festivities. To complement the evening, the Museum's Gallery Associates are organizing an "Explore the U.S.A." raffle, headed by Vicki and Sandy Tananbaum, with prizes of trips to inns, ranches and gardens across the country. Thanks to the efforts of Museum's Walking Tour Chairman Meg Smeal, Pat Ross, author of Formal Country Entertaining, and Tom Armstrong, Director Emeritus of the Whitney Museum, will give Morning Walking Tours on October 22nd and 23rd, at 10:00 am, prior to the show's opening. There will also be Specialty Walking Tours for your education and enjoyment throughout the run of the show.(See page 18.) Ticket Chairmen Arlene Hochman and Marilyn Schwartz, and Junior Chairman Rebecca Danziger are working hard to insure a well-attended and festive party. Preview tickets are priced at $750 for Donors,$500 for Benefactors, $250 for Patrons, $150 for Supporters, and $50 for Junior Committee Members. To make reservations for preview tours or to schedule a group tour, contact Katie Cochran at 212/977-7170.





1992 Fall Antiques Show Pier 92, Berths 5 and 6 The Hudson River and West 52nd Street New York City Bus and car parking available at the pier

MORNING WALKING TOURS: $40/Person —Includes Admission, Catalog, and Continental Breakfast($20 is tax deductible)

THURSDAY, October 22

10:00 am "Unexpected Finds for Entertaining" —PAT ROSS

FRIDAY, October 23

10:00 am "Simple Pleasures and Hidden Treasures" —TOM ARMSTRONG

SPECIALITY GROUP TOURS: DAILY, October 22, 23, 24, & 25

11:00 am-5:00 pm, $25/Person —Includes Admission and Catalog ($10 is tax deductible.) "American Quilts, Coast to Coast"

a‘mcan_v iltr filkart


"American 18th- and 19th-Century Samplers" CAROL & STEPHEN HUBER

"Hooked Rugs of the Northeast" KAYE BETTS

"Playthings Past: American Folk and Mechanical Toys" STEVEN WEISS

"Southwestern American Indian Art" WILL CHANNING

"Pennsylvania German Furniture and Folk Art" CONNIE HAYES

bettie mintz

"There's No'awning Back: Collecting Pottery and Porcelain"

p.o. box 30440 bethesda, maryland 20824 301-652-4626

"Outdoor Statuary and Garden Furniture"



"Folk Art: Questions and Answers" BEN APFELBAUM

classical revival westmoreland county, va. blue painted corner cupboard




506 E 74th Street NY, NY 10021 (212)472-0107

Weekdays 9:30-5:30 and by Appointment.

One of several fine weathervanes deacquisitioned from a private collection that we will be exhibiting at The Fall Antiques Show Booth #E-14

• nnques

To schedule a tour please contact Katie Cochran: Museum of American Folk Art 61 West 62nd Street New York, NY 10023 (212)977-7170





tel 212435.1930 fax 2N-249.9718


OQLALA SIOUX PAINTED,ANTELOPE HIDE c. 1890,• 34" x'40" This painted hide depicts the Omaha Society Dance, although each of the participants wears his own insignia ofW`hr accomplishments, society memberships, and ceremonial achievements.







tel 212.535.1930 fax 212.249.9718


lit—Triiii _


JOHN L. SULLIVAN CRAZY QUILT ILLINOIS, DATED 1888 • 79" x 76" Although this quilt is dated 1888, it was probably still being worked on in 1889, when Sullivan fought Jake Kilrain in the last bare knuckle world heavyweight championship boxing match. Sullivan is shown fighting with Kilrain directly below his embroidered portrait. Scattered throughout the quilt are the needleworked logos of Chicago papers of the period.



tel 212.535.1930 fax 212.249.9718






he Museum of American Folk Art and participating dealers welcome

Important twentieth-century — RICCO/MARESCA GALLERY represents many American self-taught and outsider artists. Shown here is Bill Traylor's MAN WITH UMBRELLA,circa 1940, compressed charcoal on cardboard, 103/4 x 6/ 3 4 ! Booth D-10

you to this year's Fall Antiques Show at the Pier. The following are just a few of the unusual objects you will see at this exciting event. You are invited to visit the dealers in their booths and to examine these works up close. Who knows...this may be the year you get that once-ina-lifetime buy!


(All photos and descriptions hare been supplied by the dealers.)

Dramatically simple—ALL of US AMERICANS FOLK ART is offering an exceptional collection of American quilts, mostly Amish. The one shown here is a DIAMOND IN SQUARE QUILT;Lancaster County, Pa.; turn-of-the-century; wool. Booth D-5

Charming— From AMERICAN FOLK ART/SIDNEY GECKER,a delightful miniature CANDLE STAND or trivet. This possibly unique ironwork piece features exceptional detail. It is probably eighteenthcentury from New England. It has a 5" diameter top and stands 7" tall. Booth B-2

Applique summer spread with extraordinary detail that includes a bust of George Washington, Martin Van Buren and Tom Thumb. Circa 1860.


Ai ;


STELLA RUBIN Fine Antique Quilts and Decorations 12300 Glen Road Potomac, MD 20854 (Near Washington, D.C.) By appointment (301)948-4187


44 lie

Atf4g, sit t



Cassopolis,Michigan 49031 Decorated Dutch Cupboard, Berks County, PA. By Blatt, Circa 1830.



Impressive and stately—JUDITH AND JAMES MILNE,INC. offer the rare, largesize weathervane shown here. HACKNEY HORSE WEATHERVANE,J.W. Fiske, New York, circa 1880. It is 32 x 43" and has an excellent verdigris patina. This horse, as well as several others, comes from a private collection of weathervanes and whirligigs, none of which have been shown for many years. Booth E-14



For liberty—STELLA RUBIN will be showing a wide range of fine antique quilts, 1830-1930, doll to king size, as well as the striking quilt you see here. PATRIOTIC QUILT: Frederick, Maryland patriotic quilt, dated 1942. Cotton, 85 x 967 Booth D-17

A contender—KELTER-MALCE is featuring this polychromed wood sculpture. BOXER (Joe Louis), artist unknown, circa 1940. It is 14" tall and measures 8" wide from shoulder to end of outstretched glove. The figure is painted dark brown with white trunks, striped in red. The shoes are blue and the figure stands on a yellow base. This dramatic carving was found in the Midwest and is in a full-round action pose. Its crackled painted surface makes this piece a knockout. Booth D-14

BUY AMERICAN! New York City's largest, most exciting selection of: antique quilts, coverlets, hooked rugs, paisley shawls, indian blankets, linens, vintage decorative objects and American folk art.



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GALLERY #84 %. y 41 I 11 41 itzan

Art &Antacues Center

E PLURIBUS UNUIVI jacquard coverlet "Woven at Palmyra N.Y. by J. Van Ness" for Barbary Harris, 1849.



The Nation's Largest 1050 Second Ave. at 56th St and Finest Antiques Center. New York, NY 10022 104 Galleries Featuring (212)355•4400 Furniture, Silver,Jewelry, Oriental Open Daily 10:30-6,Sun.12-6. Cohvenient Parking. and Other Objets d'Art. Open to the Public.

Aarne Anton


Tina Anton 212-966-1530

596 Broadway Suite 205 New York, N.Y. 10012


-• •• • •

Mon.-Fri. 10-6 Sat. 12-6

SEPT.18 - OCT .31

'o.' •• • 30 • • • •• =•.-_-7


• • =. • :3 •

bp left: Golf pencils and ball markers on painted panel, birdhouse by Willie Massey, memory vessel, calendar by 1.11. Armstrong,jacket made of garment labels, splitwood fan with wood chain, button robe, hemostat chair, woven cigarette pack bra, woven match pack box, bottle cap chair on Cigar box apothocary, beaded snake necklace, pottery shards covered umbrella/plant stand, Robot man and dog of nuts and bolts, tramp art cabin dated 1888 on rag rug and folded Marlboro pack ring.



Hooray, a Yei—But a hooked rug, not a Navajo. This unique rug (detail shown)is offered by LAURA FISHER.It features elongated goddess figures in different stances; two of three are shown here. The pattern includes corn stalks and ceremonial objects characteristic of the sand paintings that inspired this whimsical discovery. GODDESS RUG; Florida; circa 1930; 33 x 77"; wool. It is from a group of American textiles available at the show that reflect the influence of Native American design. Booth E-28

• ntiques

Symbolic of an era—AMERICA HURRAH offers a selection of nineteenth- and twentiethcentury Native American art. Shown here is a PLATEAU BEADED BAG, circa 1890, 16/ 1 2x 13½'.'It depicts symbols of the Dreamer and Feather Religions which were practiced by the tribes living along the Columbia River during the late nineteenth century. On this bag the woman holds and wears eagle feathers and is dressed in yellow, the sacred color of the Feather Religion. The large elk is another important symbol used by the tribes of the Columbia River Plateau. Booth D-6

Multiple dwelling—BIRDHOUSE WITH SPIRES AND STEPS is one of a group of unusual birdhouses AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GALLERY will be bringing to the show. This architectural fantasy has spires balancing blocks and rests on an impressive stepped structure. From Iowa, it measures 32 x 21 x 20'; constructed of wood, and painted. Booth C-13

American Folk Art Sidney Gecker 226 West 21st Street New York, NY 10011 (212)929-8769 Appointment Suggested

Attributed to Justus Dalee. Three miniature portraits of the Beauregard Family, descended from the Dalee and Minton Families of New Orleans. Circa 1830. 3 x 2-3/8 inches. In fine, original condition.



KELTER-MALCE A•N•T•I•Q•U•E•S 74 Jane Street /New York City 10014/ 212-675-7380


— PENNSYLVANIA CRADLE QUILT with unusual streak-of-lightning border, circa 1880, 27" x 27", composed of thumbnail size patches in Philadelphia pavement pattern.



William Edmondson (1870-1951).Pair oflimestone cups, ca. 1933-1937. 21"Hx 12"W

American Self-Taught and Outsider Art William Hawkins Bill Traylor

Thornton Dial, Sr. David Butler

Sam Doyle Eddie Arning

Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday,llam-6pm 105 HUDSON STREET/NEW YORK, NY 10013/212-219-2756/FAX-212-431.7996

Purvis Young William Edmondson

Fall Antiques Show


FALL ANTIQUES SHOW:114 AT THEPIER The most important American Antiques Show in the country, featuring 115 distinguished dealers from 20 states. California

OCTOBER 22-25, 1992

Lyons Ltd. Antique Prints

Connecticut Advertising Americana Nikki & Tom Deupree Penny & Ronald Dionne Joel J. Einhorn Friedman Gallery Marion Harris Stephen & Carol Huber E.G.H. Peter, Inc. ester Gallery Shoot the Chute Frederic I. Thaler Kevin Velle


Delaware James M. Kilvington

Illinois Harvey Antiques Frank & Barbara Pollack


New York State

Robert Brown Parrett/Lich, Inc

American Jazz Marna Anderson Dennis & Valerie Bakoledis Courcier & Wilkins Curran & Curran, Ltd. Jacqueline & Frank Donegan Richard & Patricia Dudley Gaglio & Molnar, Inc. Lenny & Nancy Kislin Susan & Sy Rapaport Richard 8r Betty Ann Rasso Richard Romberg Trotta-Bono Walowen & Schneider

Kentucky Shelly Zegart Louisiana Didier, Inc.

Maine Rufus Foshee Antiques Heller-Washarn Pine Bough: JoAnne Fuerst Withington-Wells

Maryland All of Us Americans Folk Art Architectural Americana Aileen Minor Antiques Stella Rubin Cecelia B. Williams Antiques

Massachusetts Stephen Score, Inc Elliott al Grace Snyder Eve Stone Antiques Walters•Benisek Art & Antiques Victor Weinblatt

Michigan Elliott & Elfiott Haymarket Americana & Art Denny L. Tracey Antiques

Missouri Douglas L. Solliday

tskw Hampshire Peter Pap Oriental Rugs

Ohio Beck-Mohawk Gallery

Photo Courtesy Museum of American Folk Art


PIER 92,BERTHS 5 &6• WEST 52ND ST.& THE HUDSON RIVER Preview: Wednesday October 21, 6-9:30PM Back Roads and By Ways: Explore the USA

New Jersey $150.00 To Benefit The Museum of American Folk Art

Campbell-Belikove Arlene Noble Osband/Elliott Perrisue Silver New Mexico W.E. Channing 8( Co. Morning Star Gallery

New York City America HurrahAntiques American Primitive T.J. Antorino Antiques Banning 8r Associates Cynthia Beneduce Bertram & Jones

Norman Brosterman Margaret Caldwell Allan L. Daniel Deco Deluxe Harris Diamant Richard & Eileen Dubrow Laura Fisher/Antique Quilts Sidney Gecker Bruce Gimelson, Inc Alan Coffman Renate Halpern Galleries Herrup & Wolfner Hillman Gemini Kelter-Malce Kendra Krienke Judith & James Milne, Inc. Susan Parrish Ricco/Maresca Gallery David A. Schorsch, Inc. Edith Weber & Co. Brian Windsor

($100.00 is tax deductable) Information:(212)595-9533 GUIDED WALKING TOURS $40 - Includes Admission, Catalogue and Continental Breakfast ($20 is tax deductable) Thursday, October 22, 1992 10:00 AM "Unexpected Finds

For Entertaining" Pat Ross

Friday, October 23, 1992 10:00 AM "Simple Pleasures

Marcy Burns American Indian Arts Chew & Formicola Bea Cohen Gordon S. Converse & Co. The Cunninghams Mary K. Darrah M. Finkel 8t Daughter Pat & Rich Garthoeffner Fae B. Haight Antiques William & Connie Hayes Jim Hirsheimer Katy Kane Olde Hope Antiques The Philidelphia Print Shop Francis J. Purcell II Rotiertsons Linda & Howard Stein

Rhode Island Oltz-Wilson Antiques

Tennessee Wade & Stephanie Anderton

Virginia John L. Long, _ Washington-DC Rooms & Gardens

and Hidden Treasures" Tom Armstrong

list incomplete


Fine group ofglazed slip-decorated American redware pottery, 19th century, from the Collection ofMr. and Mrs. Donald Blomquist, Rochester, Michigan

Sotheby's is pleased to announce that this group of American redware pottery will be a highlight in our Fine American Furniture, Folk Art and Folk Paintings sale. AUCTION: October 25 EXHIBITION: Opens October 17 Illustrated catalogues are available at our offices and galleries worldwide. To order with a credit card, please call (800) 444-3709. INQUIRIES: Nancy Druckman at (212) 606-7225, Sotheby's, 1334 York Avenue, New York, NY 10021





Randy Siegel in his garden


with TIGER; Vernon Burwell;


1987; painted concrete over wire


Randy and Jill Siegel live in a beautiful, red brick home in a charming, tree-lined neighborhood in mid-town Atlanta. This traditional home is impeccablyfurnished withfine antiques, and alsofeatures Randy's impressive collection ofartwork by twentieth-century self-taught and outsider artists. Artists represented in his collection include Thornton Dial, Sam Doyle, Clementine Hunter, J. T McCord, Louis Monza, Sister Gertrude Morgan, Mattie Lou O'Kelley, Lorenzo Scott, and Jon Seri. Siegel runs the Atlanta office ofFleishman Hillard, Inc., an international public relationsfirm, and sits on the Museum ofAmerican Folk Art's International Advisory Council. He recently spoke with Beth Bergin and Chris Cappiello, who each asked him questions about his collection. Q: How long have you been collecting? A: I've been collecting for about 15 years, and the way that I got started was that my mother and father collected European folk art. I developed a great appreciation for it. From there, my taste started changing, and I became very interested in American folk art. I came to American folk art through memory paintings. My taste continues to evolve, and right now I'm interested in the black folk artists, black Southern art, and outsider work. Q: Have you been in this house all that time, or has the collection moved? A: The collection has moved. We've lived in the neighborhood all this time, but we moved, gosh, I think it's about six years ago. We outgrew the other house—the art did. We needed more space. Q: Where do you see the collection going? You're not through, I'm sure. A: A couple of years ago I went through and looked at all these things and tried to figure out what it was that linked all this together, other than the fact that!loved each piece. I came to the conclusion that about eighty percent of

the work that! had was a portrait of some kind or another. Through portraits, I believe the artists are trying to convey somewhat of their search for finding themselves, or understanding their own lives. I believe that is a unifying factor. I believe, too, that most every piece I have here is a piece that really spoke to me, and! believe that somewhere in that piece is a reflection of me, and that's the reason I have it. I'd like to focus on the Southern as much as I can. Q: You have said:"As art is a window into the artist's soul, an art collection allows the viewer to peer into the soul ofthe collector." Are there certain things that youfeel your collection says about you? A: Some pieces I can look at, and I can tell you right away that there's a childhood memory or something that excites me about it. There are other pieces that! just know I'm attracted to and I don't know why, but it's still a reflection, I believe, of its owner.

Q: Did you collect as a child? I have a theory that everybody who collects as an adult collected as a child. A: Oh! I collected rocks;! collected matches; I collected crosses; I collected knives. Q: And you categorized them? A: Absolutely. And I organized them and all that, so it's something that's in me. We laugh about the artists we collect and the fact that so many of them are obsessive, but trust me,the collectors are every bit as obsessive as the artists. And this goes back to my original premise, that what we collect is a mirror of who we are. Q: Do you have an idea in your head of what you want next, or do youjust get out there and wait for something to hit you? A: When you go into a gallery or you go visit an artist, a piece will put its arms around you and say, "You must take me home."! believe that those are the pieces that have lasting value to me, personally. But, no,I can't imagine ever buying a piece to fill a particular space. Q:I wanted to ask you ifyou have one piece that is your favorite. A: Oh,I'd get into trouble if! did that. No, and it changes, quite frankly.

Q: You have a wide range ofartists represented here. There's a Malcah Zeldis piece and we saw a Howard Finster inside, butI don't see thirty pieces ofa particular artist. Is that important to you, to have a wide range, or is that unintentional? A: I like change, I like diversity, and the idea of being so focused in on one or two artists just isn't as exciting. I like having variety, a lot of different things to really challenge the eye. Part of my motivation is to educate as well. A lot of people come through and see this art, and I want them to appreciate the body of it. If I'm focused on one artist, it's a little hard to do that. Q: Do you do any research on the different pieces? A: A little bit. To a lot of people it's real important in collecting folk art to get to know the artist, to know the motivation behind every piece. I've got to tell you that's not imperative to me. Q: It's visual? A: It's all visual. It's important to me that the piece reach out and say something to me, but it's important, too, to get the very best quality that!can get. I've learned


Mose Tolliver paintings cover the wall, and a lamp carved by Ned Cartledge sits on the dresser in a guest bedroom

the hard way that that's not often going to be achieved by visiting the artist. You might go to the artist and he might have five or six pieces, but by gum—and here's my plug for galleries—a lot of times they've already done the screening for you. I'd rather have a smaller collection, one of higher quality. Now, what is high quality? Quality is when I see a piece and it is very, very special five years from the day I bought it.

Q: Have you sold any piecesfrom the collection? A: You know that's kind of funny, because so many times collectors become dealers without even knowing it. Rarely.

Q: Have you met many ofthe artists who are represented here? A: Well, one of the beautiful advantages of living in the South is that, yes, I've had an opportunity to meet a great many of them and to learn their stories. I believe that in this genre of art the story adds to the visual impact of the piece.

Q: You have said that youfeel the collection does not belong to you, and as Bert Hemphill suggests, that one is only "a trustee," and that "history is its true owner." Do you envision giving the collection as a whole to an organization? A: Oh,absolutely. Gosh,that has gotten to be such an obsession. We don't have children, so this is what I leave behind. And I would love to think that one day this body of work could be left to some organization that could enjoy it.

Q: Do you take any special care ofthe collection? A: Over the years I've found a couple of framers that!really trust, and they do good work, so as far as that's concerned, yes. It's very important to me that when pieces are stored, that they be stored properly. I also catalog.


Q: Have some ofyour pieces been exhibited, loanedfor exhibition? At Oh, absolutely. Again, education is important to me, and when the show is right, I'm more than glad to loan.

Q: What is it, do you think, that draws you to this art? A: One thing that! think is real interesting about this work, and one of the things that attracts me to it, is that it really is creativity at its purest. So many of these artists haven't gone through all this junk, with people telling them the right and the wrong way to paint. What they're doing is really painting from the heart and, more importantly, from the soul, and that really spins my wheels. Q: Since you have such a broad range ofartists in the collection, are there artists out there who you are anxious to include in the collection? Are there certain artists that you say, "I would really love to have apiece by so-and-so," but haven'tfound the right one? A: A hit list! Oh yes, I've got a hit list of about five artists that!am really interested in, that I think are very important, but!just have not seen the right piece yet. I collect a lot of visionaries, a lot of outsiders, and at this point I'm pretty focused on what I like and what I want, so it's pretty easy to target.

Q: It seems that the community offolk art collectors in the Atlanta area is a tight network.I i you get together was wondering f regularly. Do you keep track of each other's collections? At It's taken us a while to get to that point. We have a small group now that informally gets together about every quarter at somebody's home for drinks or for dinner, and we visit their collection. The group continues to grow as more people get interested. It's wonderful, and there's not a whole lot of competition among us. Different people have different eyes, so each of the collections that you'll see are very different. We are very interested, here in Atlanta, in getting some permanent exhibition space for folk art. We feel like we're sitting in one of the richest areas in the country for this genre of art, and that's a real privilege for us. We're all junkies, so you know, we laughed and said we were going to start a "folk art anonymous" group, and that we were going to sit around in a circle and somebody would say, "I didn't

MAN WITH SPOTTED SHIRT AND BLUE PAINTS; Bill Traylor; C. 1940; poster paint and pencil on cardboard;


21x 14


buy a piece of art this week," and everybody would say "Yaaaaayyy!" Unfortunately I think most of us would fail out of that.

THE HOPE; Louis Monza; 1943; oil on canvas; 53/ 1 2x 411 / 2

Q: Being in Atlanta, where there is a very active arts community, how is it that you became involved with the Museum of American Folk Art? You're on our International Advisory Council, so how and when did youfind out about us? A: Well, I go to New York a lot. Of course, whenever I'm there the Museum is a major stopping-off point. There is not another institution in the country that promotes this genre of art better than the Museum. There are some wonderful grassroots organizations out there, very important to the folk art community in general, but the Museum brings a great deal of prestige to the genre, which it needs. It's also a kind of focal point for teaching. It provides a focal point in this country for folk art. And it should. Q: You've been collectingfor fifteen years now,and thefield has grown enormously during that time. Where do you think thisfield ofself-taught/outsider art is headed?

A: This genre of art has never, ever been more popular than it is now. You've got Howard Finster on the cover of People magazine. You can pick up literally any magazine across the country these days and there's going to be something in it about folk art. It makes sense— folk art is art for the nineties, there's no question about it. And it's a shame because people like me have collected the art, and have liked being an outsider collecting it. Now it's getting popular and we're saying, "W000aa, maybe we ought to be collecting something else." I've always liked the fact that folk art has never been the kind of art that can be collected by shy people. You've got to trust your gut. You have to like it a lot. You can't be real concerned about what other people are going to think. You really have to be very comfortable with your own aesthetic, your own eye, to be able to collect. And the eye changes. I believe that we continue to get more sophisticated— the more we see, the more educated we get. And that's why it's important to fill the eye with as much as you can.


Other artists include...


B. F. Perkins Artist Chuckie Juanita Rogers Chuck Crosby Bernice Sims Howard Finster Lonnie Holley Jimmie Lee Sudduth Clementine Hunter Annie Tolliver M. C. "5c" Jones Charles Tolliver Calvin Livingston Mose Tolliver Woodie Long Bill Traylor Annie Lucas Derek Webster Charlie Lucas Myrtice West,



(741410, i,iNc7f3rArry r)eflraftrin *4-'

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3218 LEXINGTON ROAD • MONTGOMERY, ALABAMA 36106 SARAH RAKES, "Prayers for Good Crops and Good Ground"



LYNNE INGRAM SOUTHERN FOLK ART • paintings, sculptures and face jugs

"Artist Chuckle" Williams The Jacksons,"1989 House paint on masonite, 47"x 25 1/2"

Contemporary art by the self-taught southern hand Clementine Hunter, Charlie Lucas, Georgia Blizzard, Ronald Cooper, Royal Robertson, Richard Burnside, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Inez Nathaniel Walker, Bro. B.F Perkins, Chuckie Williams, Jack Savitsky(Pa.), George Williams, James Harold Jennings, Willie Massey, Bessie Harvey, Abe Lincoln Criss, Minnie Atkins, Carl McKenzie, Linvel Barker, Mark Casey Milestone, Bernice Sims, Raymond Coins, Charles Tolliver, Annie Tolliver, Mose Tolliver, S.L. Jones...others

• 174 Rick Road • Milford, New Jersey 08848 •(908) 996-4786 •


Joseph Hardin (1921-1989). Untitled. Acrylic on mat board, 14 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches, ca. 1987. A major group offine paintings by this Alabama artist will hang during September and October. The paintings constitute an important body of Hardin's work—powerful and haunting depictions of exotic, sensual women, highly personal sexual fantasies often reflecting the theme of the repentant prostitute with occasional overtones of bestiality. Rarely has there been seen a more passionate glorification of physical woman.

Robert Cargo

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

Open weekends only and by appointment

2314 Sixth Street, downtown Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401 Saturday 10:00-5:00, Sunday 2:00-5:00

205/758-8884 Home phone


African American Quilt from Florida ca. 1920


Exhibiting at Dick and Libby Kramer's HOME IN INDIANA Antique Show Sept. 24-27

The following essay is an introduction to the exhibition Visiones

.E.v.=:The Folk Art of Latin America

del Pueblo: The Folk Art ofLatin America, curated by Dr. Marion Oettinger, Jr. The objects in the exhibition are drawn from seventeen countries and present an important part of the living culture of Latin America. These objects, not ordinarily seen outside the local communities that produced them, take many forms that fulfill specific functions within their society. The roles these objects play, the traditions they reflect, and the artists who keep

them alive are all a part of the "visions of the people," and the folk art of Latin America.

Visiones del Pueblo: The Folk Art ofLatin America, organized by the Museum of American Folk Art, will be on view from September 17, 1992, through January 3, 1993, at the Eva and Morris Feld Gallery at Lincoln Square, Columbus Avenue and 66th Street, New York City. It will go on tour to the following institutions: San Antonio Museum of Art,San Antonio, Texas, March 13—May 2, 1993; Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago,Illinois, May 31—July 26, 1993; The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, August 14—October 10, 1993; Natural History Museum ofLos Angeles County,Los Angeles, California, November 1, 1993—January 5, 1994; and The Art Museum at Florida International University, Miami, Florida, January 24—March 20, 1994.

The exhibition and its national tour are made possible by Ford Motor Company.

iai t tA l r . -A ENMKIPEENtimuimoti fitiOnr— IPARtstreSPP-Ci-fd!'"; App4s2111L_J:





TAP TAP; Public bus in Port Au Prince, Haiti. Privately owned public buses are decorated by the bus owners to reflect political issues,social concerns,and popular culture.


DErirE:n The Folk Art of Latin America

where it is made and used. The late Jean Charlot, a French painter and keen observer of Mexican folk art during the 1920s, observed that "Folk art was everywhere: devotees bribed saints with ex-votos, lovers melted the hearts of their beloved with portraits, artisans and merchants hired the painter to beautify their shops with murals and thus increased business."2 Seventy years later, Latin American folk art still plays an integral role in Latin life and continues to be a strong, valid expression of local values and perspectives.


"Folk art is above all the synthetic expression ofthe soul ofa people, its tastes, its ideals, its imagination, and its concept of life." —ADOLFO BEST-MAUGARD'


ince pre-Columbian times, folk art in Latin America has been the primary vehicle through which people have expressed their dreams and fears, courted their lovers, amused their children, worshipped their gods, and honored their ancestors. Folk art continues today to be an important device for coping with the physical, social, and spiritual worlds. It is an individual's buffer against the environment in which he or she lives. Clothing, for example, is a response to the demands of the physical environment. Folk objects which are used to mark an individual's passage from one stage of life to another—a wedding dress or burial art —are cultural responses to the social worlds in which we live. Similarly, the offering of a votive object to a favorite saint seeks to reduce the vertical distance between a believer and the spiritual world, and is a cultural response to that mysterious environment. Today, as in the past, folk art is found in every corner of Latin America. It is seen in the home, adorning a family's altar or adding a bit of color and decoration to the rustic furnishings of a peasant hut. It is incorporated into architecture, local advertising, culinary habits, religious ritual, and political customs. It is permanent or it is ephemeral, and made to endure only as long as the occasion for which it is used. Unlike other forms of artistic expression, particularly contemporary art, which seeks to be iconoclastic and avant garde, Latin American folk art's main objective is to be mainstream and to represent the communal spirit of


Ceremonial Folk Art The most visible and dramatic form of folk expression in Latin America is that which is associated with ceremony, both secular and religious. Using traditional objects carefully imbued with symbolic meaning, people all over Latin America commune with their saints, maintain continuity between the living and the dead, and strengthen ties with family, community, and nation. Occasions recalling significant secular events—historical, patriotic, military—yield colorful parades and reenactments of the events themselves. Masks, costumes, and related paraphernalia are part of the folk dramas staged to recreate pivotal moments in a village's or nation's history. Such annual folk dramas strengthen the sense of community and bind the people to a larger image of nationhood. Most Latin American ceremonial folk art, however, is religious. At the heart of most religious art in Latin America is the concept of la promesa, a vow between a believer and members of the spiritual world who hold sway over individual, familial, and communal destiny. This contract is based on reciprocity. For example, milagros, small votive objects which are testaments to a saint's effectiveness, are found throughout Latin America and are placed on altars in fulfillment of a promesa or vow. Life-size wooden arms and legs, small silver eyes, breasts, or ears, testify to a saint's healing powers. Dance dramas, honoring saints, are also ways of fulfilling vows, and all over Latin America, groups of masked dancers make pilgrimages to important religious shrines to give

Church Facade;San Andres Xecul, Guatemala; eighteenth century. The church facade is a visual manifestation of the community and is maintained by its members.

House of Miracles next to the shrine of San Francisco de las Chagas; Caninde, Brazil. Priests remove the votive objects left at the altars of the saints and store them for view in the House of Miracles to make room for new votive offerings. MILAGROS; Dominican Republic, Peru and Bolivia; mid. twentieth century; silver and silver plate; from 1/ 1 4to 3/ 1 4 wide. Collection of the Museum of American Folk Art

CARNIVAL FIGURES two objects); Jose Rodriguez de Silva; Brazil; c. 1989; painted 1 4 x 15% earthenware; bull: 14/ 1 4x x10"; horse and rider: 21/ 10 x 15. Collection of the Museum of American Folk Art

thanks for miracles received or for the future well-being of a family or community. Utilitarian Folk Art As in other parts of the world, most Latin American folk art is, first of all, utilitarian, made to satisfy the daily practical needs of those who produce and use it. Carefully hand-made clothing, household furnishings, work implements, cooking utensils, and other utilitarian objects are still found in great abundance throughout Latin America in spite of their rapid replacement by mass-produced objects, which are divorced from local tradition. While utilitarian considerations are at the heart of most Latin American folk art, few artists are content to let their imaginations and skills rest there. Folk artists in Latin America, as elsewhere, seek to creatively satisfy the dual roles of pragmatism and decoration. Inanimate objects are often transformed into human and animal shapes. Task-specific stirrups become ferocious faces of dogs; wooden stools assume the semblance of armadillos or horses; sturdy walking sticks are entwined with alternating serpents and vines. Recreational Folk Art Recreational folk art is comprised of objects whose primary function is to entertain and amuse. Consisting mainly of toys, dolls, games, and miniatures, recreational folk art allows the maker to escape the world of the mundane and enter the domain of dreams and fantasy. Many Latin American toys and other forms of recreational folk art operate on several levels of significance, not always immediately apparent. On the surface, they appear to be lighthearted and whimsical objects of play, devoid of deeper meaning. Beneath the surface, however, they frequently tell another, equally important story. Toys, especially miniatures, often serve as key agents of socialization. Boys and girls are given toy farm tools and dolls, respectively, to encourage play which prepares them for the adult tasks which lie ahead. Games, such as loteria, are often more than mere entertainment and may provide a chance, albeit slim, for people to expand their wealth in a manner that


is not threatening to friends and neighbors. Decorative Folk Art Although a strong indicator of local tastes and preferences, the primary function of decorative folk art is to adorn the body, the home, or some other place. In contrast to other categories of folk art, the forms of these objects do not necessarily follow their function, though they remain grounded in and bound by traditions of the folk artist's culture. Decorative folk art often has secondary meanings which may represent important aspects of social and religious life. Other decorative objects are made as recuerdos, or souvenirs that provide proof of a visit or call up images of an important event. Da Silva's "Carnival Figures" were never meant to be used in a carnival setting, but were made, instead, to recall a typical scene from the Brazilian Carnival and remind the owner of that event each time he or she looks at this colorful assemblage. The Makers of Latin American Folk Art Folk artists are found all over Latin America, in noisy cities, busy regional market towns, sleepy coastal fishing villages, and small farming communities. They are men and women— young and old, Indian and non-Indian —who provide a vital link between the past and the present; they are the caretakers of traditional life. Folk artists are held in high esteem by their communities. Some folk artists are full-time specialists who create their work as a means of earning a living. More often, though, they are farmers, masons, fishermen, barbers, and others who produce art in their spare time to supplement their incomes. Many folk artists donate their skills, time, and artwork to an event—a religious festival,for example —as their contribution to the wellbeing of the community. Most folk artists learn their crafts through apprenticeships with other, more experienced artists. Frequently, this artistic information is passed from father to son or from mother to daughter, but non-kin may also serve as mentors. Although traditional folk artists in Latin America

seldom sign the objects they make, their works are not anonymous to other folk artists or to those who buy and use them. Folk artists develop reputations that depend upon the standards established by the traditions of the community in which they work and live. While a degree of individuality in the work is allowed, the folk artist understands the elements that are necessary to satisfy the purpose of the piece he or she is fashioning. Local values and perspectives are reflected through materials taken from the immediate environment. Many figural ceramists, for example, are from communities which produce pottery from local clay, fired with local fuel. Other folk artists depend on cast-off materials which they recycle into newly-useful objects.

PHOTOGRAPHER'S BACKDROP; Jacinto Rojas(19251991); Villa de Guadalupe, Mexico City, Mexico; c. 1989; oil on canvas. Collection of the Museum of American Folk Art

Change and Continuity Every day, throughout Latin America, folk art changes, dies, and emerges anew, always responding to the needs of a rapidly changing and increasingly complex environment. Industrialization, rural-urban migration, new roads into isolated regions, and improved national education systems, are constantly influencing and helping to change forms of folk expression. But folk art is usually conservative; important forms are tenacious and are often recast to please the contemporary eye.* Dr. Marion Oettinger, Jr., has written numerous books and articles on Latin American Folk Art, and has lectured widely in the United States, Latin America, and Europe. Dr. Oettinger was a senior research fellow in the Fulbright Program in 1979, and has received grantsfrom the National Geographic Society, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Science Foundation. He is currently the Curator of Folk Art and Latin American Art at the San Antonio Museum ofArt. NOTES

1 Adolfo Best-Maugard, Tradicion, resurgimiento, y evolucion del arte mexicano, (Mexico: Editorial de la Secretaria de Educacion Publica, 1923). 2 Jean Chariot, The Mexican Mural Renaissance, 1920-21,(New Haven: Yale University Press, 1963), p. 29. My special thanks to Stacy Hollander and Rosemary Gabriel of the Museum of American Folk Art.

Folk artist Jose de los Santos with his carving of Wonder Woman (he calls her the woman of his dreams); Merida,Venezuela WONDER WOMAN; c. 1989; painted wood; 251 / 2 x 7x 4W. Collection of the Museum of American Folk Art PAIR OF STIRRUPS; artist unknown; Ecuador; c.1910; wood and metal; 7 x 9 x 5". Collection of Peter Cecere, Reston, VA

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42 FALL 1992


ack in 1971, my wife and I didn't really know what to expect when we first turned off Orange Street onto the narrow cement and grass driveway. It was tightly flanked by two modest houses. There, prominently perched atop the small, white-frame, single-car garage down the drive, was a sizeable weathervane/whirligig featuring a painted, sheet-metal chicken and a carved dancing couple. There was no doubt that we were in the right place. From around the corner walked a lean, grayhaired, elderly gentleman following behind a tiny but noisy light-brown Chihuahua that tugged on its tight leash. "Be careful! He thinks he's a tough little guy. His name's Tiger." Silvio Zoratti smiled and reached out his hand. After introductions, Zoratti led us around the corner of the house and into his backyard. By now Tiger had quieted, and was walking sedately alongside the three of us. Offto the left of the garage stood the five magnificent poles of the Presidents' Totems. They totally commanded the

entrance to the petite backyard. We exchanged glances back and forth and our hearts were beginning to pound. Further beyond the manicured area of the yard, we could see more —much more. Zoratti took us on a guided tour back into his magical garden. It was a lush, fertile oasis. Pointillistic dots of colorful flowers accented the abundant greens of beans, peppers, tomatoes, and many other wellcared-for vegetables. Further back was an earthen mound topped by stone carvings; beyond that stood luxuriant fruit trees. Over on one side stood a small, unpretentious greenhouse. Now,this was a garden to be proud of! Unexpected, whimsical wildlife heads—both carved and constructed—stood out against this natural backdrop. For example, there was a larger-than-life, brightly polychromed cement peacock, a big, wooden giraffe, and a family of lions surrounded by bright, poppy-like blossoms. My mind immediately began flashing thoughts of the classic works of Henri Rousseau and Edward Hicks. We were actually there, walling in Silvio Zoratti's Garden of Eden, his "Peaceable Kingdom." Bountiful trees, singing birds, bees, butterflies, stone and wood carvings, exotic cement animals, and vigorous plants were everywhere. Zoratti stood proudly in the middle ofthis rich flora and fauna, real and homemade. For that moment, he appeared confident and contented. He didn't say anything. He just smiled. This was his place, his sanctuary.

Silvio Peter Reath amidst flowers , and concrete menag• ene; July 1975

PRESIDENTS TOTEM 1963; painted wood;104112': Pilgrim Group Collection

Personal History Silvio Peter Zoratti was born in Udine in northern Italy on September 16, 1896. The passion for farming he developed as a young boy remained with him throughout his life. By 1905, he left Italy for Austria where he began working with an uncle. After much training, he received a stone mason's apprenticeship and was able to assist Austrian masonry teams in constructing and repairing public and private buildings throughout the country. Zoratti's skills with mortar and stone would later prove instrumental in his environmental artworks. In 1919, S.P. Zoratti entered the United States through Ellis Island. Like millions of other optimistic immigrants, Zoratti arrived endowed with hope, useful skills, strong religious convictions, and a willingness to work hard. Zoratti settled in Bellevue, Ohio, until he was hired by the Nickel Plate Railroad in June of 1923. This new job again required him to help build and repair architectural forms including roundhouses, bridges, stone fences, and other railroad related structures. Work repeatedly carried him across northern Ohio to the small Lake Erie town of Conneaut; soon Silvio and his wife Beatrice decided to make their home there. During the next quarter-century, he was required to make weekly trips between the distant cities of Buffalo, New York, and Chicago, Illinois. In spite ofsuch a hectic and tiring road schedule, he still found time to begin raising a family and establishing a vegetable garden. Life was hard but rewarding. Countless hours spent riding trains from city to city afforded Zoratti ample opportunities to look, think, and plan. He read books, magazines,and newspapers, discussed politics with co-workers, and was interested in broadcast news. Slowly,ideas for garden sculptures of stone, concrete,

and wood began to germinate. His interests were as widespread and diverse as his newly adopted country By the late 1950s, Zoratti began concentrating on what was to become his life's work—sculpture. Political, patriotic, and historical concerns eventually manifested themselves into threedimensional symbols such as the Presidents' Totems, Uncle Sam, the Statue ofLiberty as well as individual portraits of Presidents Washington, Lincoln, and Kennedy. The influence of his religious beliefs became evident in major works like the Last Supper, the Nativity, St. Peter, a Pieta, St. Francis of Assisi, as well as several stone bas-reliefs, two angels and a multi-component altar. Popular subjects of the day—both real and fantasy—also became resources for his imagination. He eventually did figural renditions of Mickey Mouse, The Beatles, Popeye, 'Dino' the Dinosaur, and The Seven Dwarfs, to name but a few. Stone Sculptures It seems only natural that some of the very first sculptures that Silvio Zoratti created were stone carvings. A lifetime of apprenticeships and daily masonry experience provided him with the skills, specialized tools, materials, and confidence to work in what is normally considered a difficult medium. By contrast, many other artists and folk artists have traditionally preferred the ease of more accessible materials such as paper, cloth, or wood over stone. The earliest-known signed and dated Zoratti sculptures are two stone santos figures that comprise part of a multi-piece shrine. Both of the side carvings of Mary and Mary with Child were personalized by the addition of "S.RZ. 1958" in large, bold letters incised on their bottom surfaces. The taller, central figure of Christ is signed "S.RZ. 1959" on the back, and the colorful marbletrimmed niche is marked "Silvio P. Zoratti 1959." All three figures stand side-by-side in this altarpiece, which was ingeniously constructed from sheet marble, limestone, painted steel, cement, and brightly colored toy marbles. Those chiseled dates document a two-year period in the making,and the sculpture's central location atop an earthen platform indicate its importance to the maker. This is where he began.

Collectively, Zoratti carved fewer than two-dozen stone sculptures, all of which were created early in his career. They are the rarest, most monumental, and perhaps the most important of all his works. They are representational and figurative, and certainly rival the well-known stone statues of William Edmondson of Tennessee in craftsmanship and artistic merit. Unlike Edmondson and Edgar Tolson of Kentucky who are both recognized for personalized religious imagery,Zoratti preferred a diversity of subject matter and media. Eight of Zoratti's stone sculptures were specifically designed for placement atop the earthen mound at his homesite. After excavating in the center of the garden to build a root cellar, he piled surplus dirt above the sunken storage area, creating a small, "mountain" focal point. Knowing that anything located on its ridge would be visible from every point in the garden, Zoratti decided to prominently site his first artistic efforts there. On and around it he planted luxuriant landscaping to enliven the wondrous art environment he was beginning to create. Singularly, each stone figure remains a bold and powerful folk expression; together they represent a major work of art. Zoratti put forth great effort and planning to create this environmental work. Between 1958 and 1968, critical pieces were gradually added to the composition. The promontory was strategic, enabling this saintly grouping to establish the atmosphere for the entire site. A visual examination of different stone works reveals several naive, consistently stylized details. Eyes on both humans and animals tend to be somewhat rounded with symmetrical outlines on top and bottom, resulting in an "open-eyed look." Toes and fingers are articulated by simply incised lines. Hair is indicated with a few basic strokes that not only add texture but also suggest different hair types such as curly and straight. Stylized lines similarly suggest the folds and draping of clothing. The detailing identifies and describes each

person or animal represented and yet allows the quality of the stone to dominate. Each has a wonderful patina. Without dates, many might mistakenly be attributed to earlier times. The two angels, for example, bear striking similarities to early New England grave markings. Atypical of Zoratti, the angels are not signed or dated; if they had not been definitively documented as pieces of his environment, they could be misdated. The type of stone, the details, and the historical context prove them to be Zoratti's. Silvio Zoratti's stone carvings are timeless. They are powerful expressions that demonstrate to us how the man felt, what he knew, and what he could do. His angels with wide, outstretched wings are masterful; St. Peter is an imposing figure—they stand magnificently on their own and reinforce each other when grouped together. Concrete Animals Almost concurrently with the birth of the first stone sculptures, Zoratti began fashioning fanciful, concrete animals to place throughout his wonderful garden. Several were already in place prior to his retirement from the railroad in October, 1961. All of the concrete statues represent either animals or birds. No cement humans are known to exist. Using a variety of found materials, the heavy creatures were constructed by first establishing a skeletal understructure of pipe, rebar, and wire mesh. A durable, cement mixture was then mortared and sculpted over the supporting framework. Details such as toy-marble eyes, copper toenails, copper beaks, and bristle whiskers were all embedded in the wet cement. Lines were incised on many of the small birds to suggest feathers and wings, as well as to accent their marble eyes. The lion's mane was vigorously scratched with a fork while the concrete was still wet to indicate coarse hair. All of the animals in Zoratti's menagerie were painted in a somewhat realistic fashion upon completion.

ANGEL WITH CHALICE; ST. PETER;1968; stone; 20 x 10 x 10': Private collection


c. 1958; stone; 13/ 1 2x 15 x Private collection

WHITE FACED MONKEY CLIMBING BANANA TREE; 1965; painted wood and metal; 28 x 8 x T: Private collection

But after years of exposure to the elements of northeastern Ohio, much of the bright coloring and patterning has worn away. Fortunately, these works were documented when coloration remained strong and vibrant. Today the copper additions have developed a wonderful verdigris patina. Zoratti located his friendly creatures throughout the gardenscape. Nature walks permitted delightful discovery of the smaller ones while the heads of taller animals like deer and dinosaurs could be noticed from a distance. Settings for some of these constructions were intentionally created to complement their character. The playful male lion and cubs rested on a flagstone and planted walkway, surrounded by dozens of delicate small yellow flowers that enhanced their tawny bodies and luminous, yellow-marble eyes. The larger-than-life, bold, blue peacock has a fantail accented with yellow polka dots. The proud cock bird appeared to be striding amidst a green field that hosted various pastel wildflowers. Some of the other members of Zoratti's backyard concrete zoo included an ostrich, a coyote, a lioness, a red-eyed owl, an antlered deer, and a swinging monkey. Several Disney characters including Mickey and Donald were also sculpted in cement. None are signed or dated. Two ofthe earliest works in concrete are the mascots of the Democratic and Republican parties — a donkey and an elephant. These are also two of the largest and heaviest pieces. They were built on sturdy wooden platforms, and attached to substantial springs in order to function like huge rocking horses. Having been well-used, they have been repaired and repainted many times. Like Clark Coe who also created a backyard folk art environment, Zoratti provided his children and their young neighborhood friends with many hours of enjoyment riding these large beasts on imaginary journeys through the wilderness. Wood Carvings Silvio Zoratti approached wood carving with the mindset of

a trained stonemason. As a result, his forms are compact, with few extended arms or legs. When studying his work, this is an important fact to remember, as it helps explain much about the character of his wood sculptures. Wood was the third medium with which Zoratti expressed himself, and falls chronologically after earlier successes in stone and concrete. The majority of sculptures created from 1965 through the early 1980s were wood. Somewhere between 300 and 500 pieces were accomplished during that time period. With his masonry background in mind, it becomes understandable that he did not shy away from dense and difficult-to-carve woods like locust. Zoratti selected from a large pile of donated fence posts to carve the Presidents' Totems, many of the portrait heads, and a number of smaller figures. Obviously, the length and thickness of each post dictated the outward dimensions of those pieces. Several distinguishing features are common to nearly all the wood sculptures. Most are signed and dated; some twice. Some are titled. Metal stamps were used to impress letters and numbers into the wood upon completion of some carvings. For three important works—the Last Supper, the Nativity, and the Presidents' Totems, Zoratti nailed additional metal strips onto the wood for the purposes of signing, dating, or identifying the person portrayed. His best wood pieces tend to date from the early sixties through the early seventies. All were either varnished or polychromed with enamels; none were left raw. Painting was normally simple in detail and patterning, yet bold in design and color. Like his stone and concrete sculptures, Silvio's finished wood carvings were located in and around the garden. Smaller works crowded over-burdened shelves attached to the outside of the garage and the back of the house. Some were in the garage, but none were displayed in the house. Since his wife disliked the smell of turpentine, he could only paint or varnish outside in good weather. It was com-

HEDGEHOG;1966; painted wood with blue toy-marble eyes; 5010 x C Private collection

LIFE-SIZE SELF-PORTRAIT; 1965; varnished wood;16': Collection of Nicholas Kondon


mon for boxes of unfinished smaller carvings to sit waiting in the basement "for the sun to shine." Long-term outdoor exposure created obvious problems for the wood pieces. Luckily, some objects were removed early on from the environment, and retain strong, original paint. Others became badly worn,some rotted and were repaired, some required repainting, and some were lost. Surface patinas on many ofthe smaller shelf pieces are interesting to study because their painted fronts are often worn, dry, and crazed, while the backs, which were against a wall, are considerably brighter and newer looking. Zoratti's images are more diverse in wood than in the other materials he used. All types of life forms are depicted, from the profound to the ridiculous. Most are smaller carvings ranging in size from a few inches to several feet. Only one full-size, classical self-portrait exists along with a pair of half-size portraits of the artist and his wife. Of the hundreds of sculptures fashioned from wood, two masterpieces stand out—the Presidents' Totems, and the Last Supper. The Presidents' Totemsformed the focal point for the entrance to the backyard, and is a great piece of American folk art. Five vertical poles of varying height feature colorful portraits of thirty-six presidents, each identified by his own metal nametag. The imposing group was completed in 1963 and has received considerable press. In 1974, President Gerald Ford heard about the totems and wrote to Silvio commending him, saying he was "interested to read about the project and I can see you have devoted a great deal of time and considerable talent to this unique work." This signature piece remains today as a visual testament to Silvio Zoratti's interests in American history The Last Supper, on the other hand, was created for an entirely different purpose. Zoratti confided in us that he sculpted the twelve disciples and Christ shortly after being in the hospital for a serious illness. He was thankful for coming through it, and made the sculpture out of sincere appreciation. The thirteen portraits were a labor of love, inspired by a famous painting begun in 1495 in Milan, Italy, by Leonardo da Vinci. They were the only outdoor wood carvings ever protected from the ravages of time. As winter approached each year, the garden was prepared for its seasonal rest, and the LastSupper was covered with plastic. Because of Silvio's care, each figure today has a wonderful untouched patina. Missing Pieces The ravages of time have taken their toll on many of the outdoor sculptures, especially the wooden ones. Paint has worn off concrete creatures, wood split, and paint peeled. Silvio told us that over the years a few pieces had been vandalized and a few stolen. He did not elaborate on the lost imagery. Some carvings were discarded after they reached stages beyond repair—after all, he could always make more. Many of the pieces extant in the early seventies were photo-documented. One example ofa wood sculpture altered by time is a beautifully striped tiger that lost its stripes due to weathering; it darkened and was referred to recently in an auction catalog simply as a cat. As other new sculptures were completed, they were photographed as well. Several fine


pieces from those years don't exist anymore. One was a small, real tree that had died and then been filled with scores of life-sized carved birds. Another intriguing carving was fashioned from a sizeable tree stump. On it, he arranged a series of relief-carved and painted Afro-American heads—some screaming, some calm—surrounded by rats. One rat held up a defiantly clenched fist. This powerful, emotional social statement directly related to the infamous urban summer riots. Unfortunately, it is also gone. One sculpture that remains, but only partially, is a totem that depicts social climbing, the abuses of sportsmen, and the effects of the banking system on the working class. Considering the current banking crisis, Zoratti's observation was ahead of its time. Today At this writing, Silvio and his wife Beatrice reside in a local nursing home. Their home has been sold, as has much of his sculpture, and the garden has been left unattended. We are fortunate and thankful to have had the pleasure of seeing Zoratti's garden in full bloom, and sharing many glasses of cool lemonade with its creator and caretaker. Silvio was quite friendly but preferred his privacy. For that reason, several of his creations were anonymously featured in NBC's 1976 "America: A Different Look; American Folk Art" with Dr. Robert Bishop and this writer as co-hosts. His work also appeared in folk art exhibitions at the Akron Art Institute and the Art Academy of Cincinnati. Until 1990, his name had not been made public at his request; and for twenty years, our family referred to him simply as "Z." A retrospective look at Silvio Zoratti's career as a folk artist permits several conclusions. Careful examination suggests an underlying plan for his garden paradise. The materials chosen certainly influenced the look and scale of his sculptures. And, although the subject matter varies considerably, significant creations stand out above all others as his best expressions. Silvio Zoratti maintained a rigid policy of not selling his artwork while it was under his control, although he gave some away to friends and family. Therefore, a unique opportunity existed to study the voluminous life's work of this talented, self-taught sculptor. Almosteverything is signed and dated, making it possible to chronologically catalog his image development,and to evaluate his most productive periods in terms of quantity and quality. In my opinion, all of his great sculptures were completed prior to 1970. "Z," the quiet Italian immigrant, had voyaged to North America almost three quarters of a century ago. He arrived filled with the hopes and dreams of a young man, and lived a long and genuinely productive life. Silvio Peter Zoratti created an American art legacy to be treasured. * Editor's Note:Silvio P Zoratti died on March 20, 1992. Gene Kangas is co-author ofseveral books on the subject ofwaterfowl decoys as well as many articles onfolk art. He is also a sculptor and Professor ofArt at Cleveland State University in Cleveland, Ohio.

LION AND CUBS; C. 1959; painted concrete with toy•marble eyes; adult lion 22 x 59 026:' Private collection

LAST SUPPER and various other painted wood carvings on shelves attached to the garage wall; c. 1968; 12 x 88 x 12:' Private collection


Pioneers in Folk Art Collecting


ne particular consequence of the Great Depression that passed without much notice was the demise of one of the richest folk art collections that has ever existed. Assembled by the famous Polish-American sculptor Elie Nadelman(18821946)and his wife Viola, this collection of European and American folk art comprised approximately 70,000 objects, acquired over more than twenty years.' Surprisingly, despite folk art's current popularity, no one has fully investigated the Nadelman collection or the museum that housed it.2 Not only were the Nadelmans the first collectors of their time to purchase utilitarian, household objects such as wagons, tools, hardware, cooking and cleaning utensils, and linen, but they were also the only ones who collected and exhibited both European and American folk art. The Nadelmans' interaction with and influence on pioneer American folk art collectors, particularly the Ogunquit group of modern artist/ collectors, has never been explored. The time is long overdue to tell the fascinating story of these connoisseurs and their museum, and to give them their rightful place among the earliest collectors offolk art in the United States. Elie Nadelman,active approximately between 19041946, was a modern sculptor whose work was devoted to explorations of form, volume, and psychological nuance in human and animal figures. Strongly influenced by archaic Greek sculpture, Nadelman's uniquely reductive, elegant style evolved concurrently with Cubism and Fauvism, developments he had been exposed to during his studies in Paris prior to World War I. His work quickly attained critical and financial success, enabling him to assemble an extensive folk art collection, and to build a museum for its display. Nadelman's most important patron was Helena Rubenstein, who purchased the entire contents of his first one-man exhibit in 1911, and used his work as the trademark-symbol for her beauty products. Today, Nadelman's work is in such major collections as the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. Although it is not known when or why Nadelman began collecting folk art, Lincoln Kirstein, author of the authoritative monograph on Nadelman, suggests that an exhibit at Munich's Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in 1903— 1904 of 18th- and early 19th-century dolls and toys may have been a stimulus.3 The sculptor's son believes that although his father saw examples ofEuropean folk art, both



Elie and Viola Nadelman

in his native Poland and during subsequent travels through Western Europe, he began collecting in earnest after his 1914 immigration to New York City. A further impetus toward collecting was provided by Nadelman's 1919 marriage to Viola Flannery, a wealthy widow who was a connoisseur of antique, handcrafted textiles. Finally, in the summer of 1921, the Nadelmans rented Beauport, interior decorator Henry Sleeper's house in Gloucester, Massachusetts.4 Beauport's period rooms, which contained American and European furniture and handicrafts, may have inspired later installations at the Nadelman museum.5 Thus perhaps for a variety of reasons, the Nadelmans, affluent from Elie's artistic success and Viola's inheritance, began collecting on a grand scale. Traveling throughout Europe and the United States, they bought from private owners, auctions, and antique dealers.6 Relying on their own aesthetic—as yet there were no experts or books focusing on folk art—they singled out rare and beautiful objects from unlikely sources. For example, they found the 19th-century wood sculptures of the fire chief Harry Howard in the loft of an old volunteer fire house in New Jersey. By contrast, thousands of miles away they coaxed two medieval marriage chests from the vaults of the Hungarian National Museum. Initially, the Nadelman collection was located at their East 93rd Street townhouse. By the early 1920s, it had grown to such an extent that the Nadelmans moved it to its own three-story stone building on the grounds of Alderbrook, their 19th-century, Riverdale villa. In 1926 the collection was opened to the public as The Museum of Folk and Peasant Art, later renamed the Museum of Folk Arts. The Nadelmans paid for the building and its operating expenses; tours were by appointment and admission was free.7 The collection encompassed works ranging in date from the mid-13th through the 19th centuries, and much of it was displayed in period rooms. Its impressive scope included toys, textiles, rugs, needlework, costumes and accessories, furniture, farm, house, and kitchen implements, pipes, snuff boxes, weathervanes, Pennsylvania chalkware, wagons, sleighs, firefighting equipment, ship


BOY WITH A TOY HORSE; Joseph Whiting Stock; c. 1845; oil on canvas;50% x 40 . Courtesy of The New-York Historical Society; 1937.452

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FALL 1992


figureheads, cigar store figures, trade signs, entire interiors of 18th-century French and American apothecary shops, medieval wrought iron, stained glass, altarpieces, religious icons, paintings, frakturs, printing blocks, posters and broadsides, several of which dated back to the Revolutionary War. Some of the more unusual pieces included George Washington's Masonic apron, a handmade metal weathervane shaped like a snake, and early cockroach traps. As previously mentioned, the Nadelman museum was the only institution in the country to exhibit both European and American folk art. The couple wanted to demonstrate the European influence on American folk art, while conveying the aesthetic value of both. The countries represented were Hungary, Yugoslavia, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Czechoslovakia, Italy, England, Poland, Scandinavia, Russia, and the United States. The collection's uniqueness was discussed in the March 1938 issue of Antiques magazine: ...the United States can boast no other accumulation of folk art in range and completeness approaching that which during a number of years past Mr. and Mrs. Nadelman have assembled. As a matter of fact, since most displays of folk art throughout the world are largely confined to local or regional examples, the Nadelman collection deserves recognition as of international significance. It is certainly the only one of its kind that permits immediate comparison between provincial American creations and their foreign prototypes and analogues.8 As previously mentioned, the Nadelman collection was distinct from others of the time, as it was the only one that included common household and farm implements, or "peasant art:' as it was then termed. Other collectors purchased only sculpture and painting. The Nadelmans believed that even if intended for humble purposes, these objects had inherent beauty.9 The couple paid a wide range of prices for their acquisitions—from 15 cents for a French plate acquired in 1927, to 550 dollars for an iron candelabrum from Hungary, bought in the same year.I0 One measure of their ambition was their bidding against John D. Rockefeller, Jr., for the famous Unicorn tapestries now owned by the Cloisters. Viola Nadelman was director and administrator of the new museum. Her duties included greeting visitors, giving tours, arranging publicity, bookkeeping, and correspondence." In keeping with its educational goals, the museum provided tours to many school and club groups. Letters recovered in the family papers compliment the couple on the beauty and breadth of their collection and its creative installation, as well as their warm reception of visitors.I2 Underscoring their policy of public access to the collection, the Nadelmans loaned items to other institutions for folk art exhibitions, notably to the folk painting and sculpture exhibitions at the Newark Museum in 1930 and 1931. Other organizations that secured Nadelman loans were the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Public Library, the Museum of the City of New York, and Edith Gregor Halpert's American Folk Art Gallery. Several of the loan

50 FALL 1992


objects were singled out for specific commentary in exhibition catalogs or reviews. For instance, in the catalog for the 1930 Newark Museum exhibit entitled American Primitives, curator Holger Cahill discussed Joseph W. Stock's painting, Boy with a Toy Horse(c. 1845): The large portrait of a boy, is the most sophisticated [of all the portraits in the exhibit]. The richness of color, as well as the type of the boy's face, suggest Spanish influence. This canvas has also been compared to Manet because of its clear, flat quality.I3 In spite of the museum's initial success, problems set in with the financial crash of 1929. The Nadelmans lost a large part oftheir capital in real estate, and could no longer afford to pay operating expenses.14 In an effort to raise funds, they were forced to sell several choice items from the collection.I8 Seeking supplementary funding, they obtained a grant from the Carnegie Corporation. The modest sum, $6,000 paid out during 1935 and 1936, allowed the institution to remain open. With the grant's implementation,regular hours on Saturday and Sunday afternoons were offered, and a gallery guide was issued. Public and private receptions and tours held to celebrate the 'opening' were reviewed by newspapers and art periodicals. On April 27, 1935, the New York Times reported favorably: Viewing the Nadelman collection, its thousands of items attractively displayed in fourteen rooms of the building at an experience never to be forgotten. One can scarcely fail to be impressed both by the scope, the bewildering variety of the assembled material, and by the fine quality of many of the pieces. All of this material, now brought together under one roof, argues a fundamental relationship, folk art being folk art wherever produced. Valuable opportunities also are here provided for comparison.I6 The attendance figures were excellent, averaging 100 visitors per day from June through October, 1936, despite the museum's considerable distance from midtown Manhattan and other museums.I7 Two events concurrent with, and perhaps even brought about by the Carnegie grant, increased the museum's visibility. The first was the formation of a four-member advisory board: Holger Cahill, Florence Levy, Rene d'Harnoncourt, and Alfred Barr, Jr. These advisors all held important positions and had prominent reputations in the areas of modern and folk art. Holger Cahill was the curator of the Museum of Modern Art's Art ofthe Common Man exhibit as well as the 1930 and 1931 Newark Museum folk art shows, and he became exhibitions director at the Museum of Modern Art in 1932. Cahill also served as director of the WPAsponsored Federal Arts Project, and as such, directed and helped to implement the Index of American Design, which included the Nadelman museum in its survey. Florence Levy, an art historian and administrator, was co-founder and secretary of the School Art League. The League sought to bring New York City students in

FIREFIGHTER; artist unknown; n.d.; wood. Courtesy of The New-York Historical Society; The "Iron Room," inside the


Museum of Folk Arts

closer contact with museums, galleries, art teachers, and artists through regularly scheduled art classes and visits to New York City collections. Levy was a director of the American Federation of Arts from 1909 to 1945,the creator and long-time editor of the reference volume American Art Annual, and was active in many other organizations devoted to art and art education. Rene d'Harnoncourt, an Austrian aristocrat, first became interested in his own country's folk art, and then went on to become a connoisseur of Mexican and Native American art. He organized a traveling exhibit of Mexican folk art for the Carnegie Corporation in 1929, which appeared at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art. Nelson Rockefeller, d'Harnoncoures personal friend and sponsor, put him on staff at the Museum of Modern Art in 1944, where he became director in 1949. At the time of his tenure on the Nadelman museum's board, d'Harnoncourt was assistant to the president of the American Federation of the Arts. Alfred Barr was the founding director of the Museum of Modern Art, and in this capacity he sponsored the Art of the Common Man exhibit. Trained at Princeton and Harvard as an art historian, Barr was an expert on modern art. It is not known whether the board members were chosen by the administrators of the Carnegie grant or the Nadelmans themselves; either way, their ties to folk and modern art collectors, organizations, and artists secured for the museum an advantageous position among New York art circles. The second event concurrent with the Carnegie grant was the museum's participation in the Index of American Design. A branch of the Federal Arts Project, sponsored by President Roosevelt's WPA, the Index's team of artists, writers, and art historians painted, drew, and photographed objects chosen by staff experts in order to increase their public availability and record them for posterity.18 From 1935 to 1936, Index artists took over the first floor of Alderbroolc, recording more than a hundred works.19 It is possible that Holger Cahill, who was both a Nadelman museum board member and the Index director, not only helped the museum to obtain a strong representation but perhaps even secured its participation in the project.

Curtailing the revival its help had generated, the Carnegie Corporation did not renew its grant after 1936. Family correspondence testifies that the Nadelmans struggled to keep the museum open. Their shaky financial state forced them to abandon the idea of donating their collection to New York City. Lincoln Kirstein suggests that the Nadelmans hoped the city would relieve their burden ofoperating expenses.20 By this point, however, they needed to recoup their original investment by selling the collection. The Nadelmans sought a buyer willing to keep the collection publicly exhibited in its entirety. Correspondence and a signed contract found among the unpublished portion of the Downtown Gallery Papers indicates that they retained dealer Edith Halpert as agent for the museum's sale. The asking price was $350-400,000, of which she was to receive 12/ 1 2%.21 Halpert's contacts and expertise as the principal dealer of and authority on folk art made her the natural choice for the task. She immediately began notifying her major clients of the collection's availability. In one curious proposal, Nelson Rockefeller was contacted. In a letter to Rockefeller dated May 27, 1937, Nadelman himself suggested that Rockefeller house the museum in Rockefeller Center "to make it accessible to the whole world," and charge admission to cover operating costs. Any profit after expenses was to be turned over to the Nadelmans, and thus Rockefeller would gradually buy the collection. Nadelman wrote: "You would be saving it [the museum]for all times as I no longer have means to support it, having given to it all I possessed."22 Rockefeller declined. Nadelman countered, saying he need not earn a profit, so long as the museum could stay open, but again Rockefeller refused. Although Halpert contacted other potential buyers, she was unable to sell the collection, and she bowed out of her contract two months before its expiration.23


In the fall of 1937, The New-York Historical Society purchased the collection for the incredibly low sum of $50,000, with the assistance of a Mrs. Greenwood, a friend of the Society's director.' The Historical Society hired Nadelman to be curator and cataloger of his own collection. Friction, however, arose over its installation and his work hours. The sculptor wanted to display his collection in the Society's largest gallery, Dexter Hall, but both the president and director disapproved. When the director insisted that Nadelman work a forty-hour week,he resigned. The following letters illustrate the episode.

April 17, 1939 Dear Mr. Nadelman: I enclose your check for April 1-15 salary. Last Friday I discussed with the Museum Committee the needs and progress of our work here. The folk arts collection is more in need of interpretation and definitive cataloguing than any other collection in the Society's building. Most of the data about it are known to you alone. The list which you filed with the Society on cards is only a part of the story, and I am requested to say that unless you can give your full time each day, as the other curators do, the work of completing the proper cataloguing and recording of the history of each object cannot go forward. I told the Committee of our talk in which you stated that you could not make such a catalogue, and that you could not work specified hours but wanted to be free to come and go as you felt it necessary. Of course, that is not museum practice, especially when there is so much to be done here, and we feel that we must engage the services of one who can devote his time to the work as stated. We assume that you will lend your aid gratuitously as may be needed to compile the data since we do not have the means to employ extra help. I shall be obliged for your reply. Sincerely yours, Alexander J. Wall Director25

April 19, 1939 Dear Mr. Zabriskie: (George Zabriskie was president of the Society.) It is regrettable that I was not given a hearing when my case was discussed at a meeting of the Committee. From a letter, which Mr. Wall has sent me I see that my case was entirely misrepresented. My contact with you during my brief association with the Society will be a precious and pleasant memory to me. Faithfully yours Elie Nadelman26


FALL 1992


It is not clear how far Nadelman progressed with his cataloging. The "list filed on cards" in Wall's letter may refer to a series of three- by five-inch index cards extant at the Society which have a black-and-white photograph on one side and basic identifying data on the other. Supporting this theory, a cabinet of cards with an identical format have been found at the Nadelman home. This suggests that Nadelman began to draw up the cards, but never finished the project, as there are not enough cards to cover the entire collection. However, he did plan and direct the installation of the collection. Within a year after its purchase, it was on view at the Society in a Folk Art gallery.27 Nadelman evidently did not hold a grudge, because Society accession books from 1938-39 record his supplementary gifts of wood carvings, coverlets, and quilts.28 Today, most of the Nadelman collection is still at the Historical Society, where individual items are often on view in diverse exhibitions.29 Because the Society's focus lies in American history and art, some of the European pieces have been deaccessioned.30 The Society has also sold American pieces, mostly duplicates or damaged articles.31 They have begun to catalog the collection and would like to exhibit it in the future. The Nadelmans' interactions with and influence on fellow American folk art collectors has never been explored. Nor has the scope, accessibility, and visibility of their collection been factored into discussions on the early collecting of this material by modern artists. It is generally accepted that the nascent movement to collect folk art centered around a group of modern artists who worked and/ or summered at Ogunquit, Maine. Hamilton Easter Field, painter, art critic, and both founder and leader of the Ogunquit colony, is considered this movement's catalyst. His followers included close friend and sculptor Robert Laurent, as well as artists Charles Sheeler, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, Alexander Brook, Dorothy Varian, Louis Bouche, Bernard Karfiol, and Marsden Hartley.32 Art historians theorize that folk art's strong, simple forms appealed to artists tired of academic styles, and found expression in their work.33 Edith Halpert represented most of the aforementioned artists at her New York City gallery.34 Halpert in turn developed an interest in folk art, and after the opening of her American Folk Art Gallery, became the premiere dealer and expert in the field. Next to Halpert as an acknowledged force in the area was Holger Cahill, curator, writer, and partner in her folk art gallery.35 Juliana Force, director of the Whitney Studio Club, was also an important figure in the movement.36 The Studio Club's membership included most of the modern artist/collectors.37 Isabel Carleton Wilde, while not a member ofthis modernist coterie, was one ofthe earliest folk art connoisseurs. She amassed a choice collection at her Cambridge, Massachusetts home, exhibiting it in 1927 at the Whitney Studio Club and in 1944 at the American Folk Art Gallery.38 While collecting folk art was fashionable during the 1920s and early 1930s, it is hard to determine when each collector became active, or the size and quality of each collection. Few early collectors assembled a substantial collection, and even fewer contributed to the study of the field. An autobiographical manuscript in Robert Laurent's

YE BOSTON BAKED BEANS; H. E. Covill; 1886; oil on canvas; 28/ 1 4 x 36. Courtesy of The New-York Historical Society;1937.459

Announcement for the Nadelmans Museum of Folk Arts, February 16,1935

MUSEUM OF FOLK ARTS Palisade Avenue and Dodge Lane Riverdale.on-Hudson, City of New York The Advisory Committee of the Museum, The Trustees of the School Art Leasue and Mr.and Mrs. Elie Nadelman Invite you to the PRIVATE OPENING Saturday,February 26,1935 from 2to 5 o'crock Tea at four o'clock WEST SIDE SUBWAY TO 23101 STREET AND BROADWAY; BUS TO DODGE LANE; wALR WEST TWO BLOCKS

papers places his collecting debut in 1920, but his own undated collection inventory lists only two-dozen pieces of folk art.39 A reappraisal of Nadelman's impact on and relation to the early collectors is overdue. While he did not belong to the Ogunquit colony, he knew its members professionally and socially. He was a director of Hamilton Easter Field's Salons of America non-juried, annual exhibition, and a founder and executive committee member of The New Society of Artists, which included Samuel Halpert (Edith Halpert's husband), Robert Laurent, Louis Bouche, Eugene Speicher, William Zorach, and Maurice Sterne, all folk collectors and artists represented by the Downtown Gallery.4째 As we have seen, the Nadelmans were well acquainted with Edith Halpert. In a letter to Elie Nadelman dated June 13, 1932, Halpert thanked him for her visit to his collection, and went on to say: "If at any time you feel that you are through with any of the objects in your American [folk] collection, and wish to pass them on to a new audience, wont [sic] you give me the opportunity of placing them?"41 From gallery account books and correspondence, we know that on July 7, 1932, Halpert did purchase a group of Nadelman objects which were sold to Abby Aldrich Rockefeller the same day, and exhibited in Art ofthe Common Man the same year.42 Halpert went on to sell other


pieces for the Nadelmans, culminating in her 1937 contract to sell their entire collection. Halpert later acknowledged the Nadelmans' importance. In the typescript for a 1951 speech intended for delivery at an Antiques Magazine forum at Colonial Williamsburg, she stated that her gallery's name was borrowed from the Nadelmans with their permission.43 Elsewhere in her papers, she discussed the influence of Hamilton Easter Field and the Nadelmans on the genesis of her gallery. She called the Nadelman museum a "...somewhat later but more prominent influence than Hamilton Easter Field" on the early folk collecting movement." The Nadelmans were also acquainted with Isabel Carleton Wilde, and as we have already seen, Henry Sleeper.45 In addition, Elie Nadelman was a friend of Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney; he created a sculpture for a Studio Club exhibit and Vanderbilt defended him against the negative criticism it drew. He also belonged to the Penguin Club, which was founded by Walt Kuhn and made :Moreover, the Nadelmans up of the Ogunquit modernists hosted regular Sunday evening receptions at their Manhattan home to which many important figures in New York's art and cultural circles were invited, and which many of Nadelman's abovementioned contemporaries surely attended. In summary, although it is clear that there was significant social and professional contact between Nadelman and his collecting peers, intensive research on each collector is needed before their various relationships and influences can be determined. It is clear that of this group, the Nadelmans were the only ones to amass such a large and varied collection, and certainly the earliest to exhibit it publicly. As noted,they pioneered the investigation ofthe European influence on American folk art, and broke new ground by recognizing the aesthetic value of utilitarian objects. Their mission succeeded so well that subsequent collectors and connoisseurs of folk art, convinced of the Nadelmans' superior judgment, purchased the items they were forced to sell in order to raise money. Some of these objects were acquired by Henry Du Pont, Henry Ford, Jean Lipman, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, Electra Havemeyer Webb, Historic Cooperstown, and the Metropolitan Museum's Cloisters. Many of these objects are now in prominent public collections. For their significant contributions, the Nadelmans should be hailed as preeminent figures in the early appreciation and study offolk art.* Dedicated to Colleen C. Heslip, afine teacher, scholar, and person. Christine I. Oaklander earned her M.A. in Art History at Williams College in Massachusetts, and is currently working on her Ph.D. in the same discipline at the University ofDelaware in Newark, Delaware. She has worked in the curatorial department ofthe New-York Historical Society and at New York's Spanierman Gallery. Oaklander is currently investigating the life and art patronage of William Henry Osborn.


NOTES 1 Information courtesy of E. Jan Nadelman, the sculptor's son. 2 See Lincoln Kirstein, Elie Nadelman,(New York: Eakins Press, 1973), for a brief discussion of the Nadelman collection and museum. 3 Lincoln Kirstein, The Sculpture ofElie Nadelman,(New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1948), P. 7. 4 Henry Sleeper was a self-styled interior decorator, and a member of wealthy Bostonian social circles. 5 Although Sleeper acquired samplers and silhouettes as early as 1906, Beauport's Pembroke Room,c. 1918, was the first room decorated primarily with folk objects. Most of Sleeper's collection consisted of decorative and fine arts created by trained artists. There is no evidence that he was more than aesthetically interested in folk art. Information concerning Sleeper provided by Philip A. Hayden. 6 When the Nadelmans began collecting, there were few folk dealers. Junk and antique shops were popular early sources for acquisitions. 7 Although an appointment was required, visitor thank-you letters recovered among family papers suggest that this was a formality. Nadelman family papers, Riverdale, New York. 8 "The Nadelman Folk Art Collection?' Antiques 33, March 1938, p. 152. 9Information courtesy of E. Jan Nadelman. 10 Nadelman family papers. Few purchase prices are known because there are no detailed acquisition records. 11 The Nadelmans advertised on city buses and several articles appeared in the late 'twenties and 'thirties, in such periodicals as Town & Country, Antiques Magazine, Art News, International Studio, The New York Times and The Christian Science Monitor. 12 One such letter, dated November 2, 1936, was from the artist Walt Kuhn: Dear Friends: lam writing to thank you for a delightful afternoon. Your museum leaves absolutely nothing to wish for in taste and discrimination. You have done a great work. With very best regards. Nadelman family papers. 13 Holger Cahill, American Primitives(Newark, New Jersey: Newark Museum Association, 1930), cat. #28, p. 14. The picture is now at The New-York Historical Society. 14 It was at this time and perhaps due to their financial difficulties, that the Nadelmans decided to donate their collection to New York City and so insure that it would remain on public exhibition. However, as no official date was set for the transfer in ownership, presumably it was viewed as a "last resort" measure. 15 Letters from Viola Nadelman to Edith Halpert, folk art dealer, testify to the situation. On June 20, 1932, Mrs. Nadelman wrote to Mrs. Halpert: "... There are some other things which we will dispose of, not because we wish to, but because we are forced to.. Then on July 8, 1932, after having arranged for Halpert to sell several pieces, Mrs. Nadelman asked for partial payment in advance: "...I am sorry to have to bother you, but I do need some money towards meeting a mortgage payment. Do you think it would be possible to get about one fourth of the amount of the sale hnmediately?..." Unpublished material from the Downtown Gallery Papers, Box 100, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. 16 Edward Alden Jewell, "Folk Arts Museum Opening to the Public?' The New York Times 27, April 1935, p. 20. 17 Nadelman family papers. Jan Nadel/nail remembers his mother keeping count at the entrance. The Museum was located on Palisade Avenue and Dodge Lane, on a hill above the Hudson River, and was not visible from the main roads. 18 In the years after the Index was completed, a corpus of books,

articles, and exhibitions about it appeared, availing the public of its achievements. Index papers are at the National Gallery of Art in Washington. 19 Erwin 0. Christensen, "American Popular Art as Recorded in The Index of American Design," ArtIn America 35, July, 1947, p. 202. There is some ambiguity about who—Elie or Viola— oversaw the Index project at Alderbrook. Family records discuss Viola's appointment as "artist-in-residence," or supervisor of the Riverdale site. However, the papers of Phyllis Crawford, a senior project supervisor of the Index's New York City operations, describe Elie as "master artist" and "artist in charge at the Museum of Folk Arts," and give his appointment date as May 22, 1936. Crawford lists only three artists working at Alderbrook. But the papers have several corrections, and artists were added to and removed from various sites, so Crawford's account may not be definitive. Phyllis Crawford Papers, roll NDA3,frame 115, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. 20 Kirstein, Elie Nadelman, p. 229. This theory is plausible, because the Nadelmans' plan was known as early as 1931, when it was mentioned in a New York Times article. The idea probably resulted from their financial losses in the 1929 market crash. 21 Contract between Edith Halpert and the Nadelmans, dated February 9, 1937. Box 137, unpublished portion of the Downtown Gallery Papers. 22 Letter, Elie Nadelman to Nelson Rockefeller, May 27, 1937, Nadelman papers. It is not surprising that Halpert contacted the Rockefellers, considering that she was the principal advisor and dealer to Abby Aldrich Rockefeller in the formation of her renowned folk art collection. 23 Unpublished letter dated November 27, 1937, Box 129, Downtown Gallery Papers. An undated statement addressed by Mrs. Halpert to the Nadelmans emphasizes the difficulties surrounding the museum's sale: You realized, of course, that in reliance upon your promises, I will be devoting a great deal of my time, attention and energies, as well as advancing various expenses, on your behalf, in my efforts to promote and bring about a concededly difficult sale. You undoubtedly appreciate the obstacles which confront me and which I must surmount to succeed. I cannot stress too much, therefore, the importance of your cooperation and strict compliance with this understanding, for in the event you frustrate my efforts and negotiations with people I have in mind,I will be seriously damaged in an amount difficult of ascertainment.... Box 137, unpublished Downtown Gallery Papers. It was difficult to sell the collection because during the Depression, there were few purchasers able to afford the entire unit. In addition, there was a lack of interest in the European art. 24 According to family papers, Mrs. Greenwood did not know the Nadelmans prior to her negotiations on their behalf. The biography of Society director Alexander Wall by Lillian B. Wall, Entre Nous(New York: The New-York Historical Society, 1949), describes Dr. and Mrs. Greenwood as personal friends of Wall and dedicated collectors of early American household arts and crafts, which they displayed in the setting of an 1802 farmhouse called "Time Stone Farm." The Greenwood's interest in Americana and their mission to educate the public as to the beauty and importance of everyday objects must have led them to the similarly-motivated Nadelmans. When it was bought by the Historical Society, the collection had 14,492 objects. It has been stated by John I. H. Baur that between 1923 and 1928, the Nadelmans spent half a million dollars on purchases. See The Sculpture and Drawing ofElie Nadelman(New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 1975). If this is true, then they lost a staggering amount of money

compared to their investment and the collection's contemporaneous value. 25 Elie Nadelman Papers, Archives of The New-York Historical Society, New York City. 26 Elie Nadelman Papers. Thanks to Thomas Dunnings, Jr., Society archivist, for bringing the Nadelman papers to my attention. 27 Photographs in the Society's 1938 annual report show docents and school children clustered around a Swiss rocking-horse in the folk gallery. 28 Correspondence between Nadelman and Mrs. J. Insley Blair indicates that Nadelman solicited a substantial donation of decorative arts to the Society from Mrs. Blair, also as a supplement to the collection. Nadelman family papers. 29 For example, their objects appeared in the Society's 1987 exhibit of household implements. 30 For instance, the Society deaccessioned ancient Russian icons and religious panel paintings in the 1940s. Accession records, The New-York Historical Society. 31 A notable deaccessioning was a wood carving of a dancing black man, which was sold in 1987 at William Doyle Galleries and acquired by Steve Miller, a folk art dealer. In a January 1987 Antiques advertisement, p. 158, Miller calls the sculpture a cigarstore figure, but this designation is uncertain. This figure, who seems to be testing his temperature with the back of his hand, was displayed in the American pharmacy at the Nadelman museum. 32 Downtown Gallery, Hamilton Easter Field and Robert Laurent Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. 33 Marsden Hartley admired and was influenced by paintings on glass and Charles Sheeler collected and depicted Shaker furniture. Nadelman's curvilinear, cherrywood figures of dancers and musicians bear a strong affinity to folk sculpture, as does Robert Laurent's sculpture in wood. 34 Halpert's business was called Our Gallery, later changed to the Downtown Gallery. 35 Cahill owned a large block of shares in the gallery as well as half of its inventory. Not only did he search out many items for sale at the gallery, but he also bought or was given works from its inventory for his own collection. Downtown Gallery Papers. 36 The Studio Club was founded by socialite/artist Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney. For further information on Force see Avis Berman's article "Juliana Force and Folk Art." Antiques Magazine, September, 1989. Also see Berman's book Rebels on Eighth Street: Juliana Force and the Whitney Museum ofAmerican Art(New York: Atheneum, 1990). 37 The first known folk exhibit was held in February, 1924, at the Club. It was organized by artist/member Henry Schnakenberg, and included 45 items. 38 Halpert purchased Wilde's collection in the early 1940s. Downtown Gallery Papers. 39 Hamilton Easter Field Papers, roll 2067, frames 14-16. 40 Nadelman's signature appears in Field's guest book, which is owned by the Archives of American Art. Eugene Speicher was his close friend and acted as a sponsor for his American citizenship application in 1927. 41 Unfilmed portion of the Downtown Gallery Papers. 42 Today the pieces are at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center in Williamsburg, Virginia. 43 Downtown Gallery Papers. 44 Downtown Gallery Papers. 45 A letter dated April 25, 1935, from Wilde to the Nadelmans congratulates them on opening their museum to the public and mentions her plans to visit them. Nadelman family papers. 46 Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, often cited as one of the first and most active collectors, did not begin collecting until 1931, five years after the Museum of Folk Arts opened, and her collection was not open to the public until 1939.




CONSTANCE J. COLLINS s the new Director of Development, I would first like to introduce myself to you all and say how thrilled I am to join the staff of the Museum of American Folk Art. For those I haven't met, a little background. I came aboard on June 1st, having previously worked for five years at Historic Hudson Valley, an organization dedicated to historic preservation which operates five sites along the Hudson River. While there, I headed fund-raising activities for three years, and at its satellite exhibition space in lower Manhattan for a year and a half. However, I'm happy to say that my introduction to folk art came even earlier. While pursuing a graduate degree in Museum Studies at Cooperstown,I was lucky enough to work with a wonderful collection of traditional folk art at the New York State Historical Association's Fennimore House. What was truly a terrific experience for me there were the classes conducted by two folk art pioneers—Lou and Aggie Jones. Their lively discussions and encyclopedic knowledge of the field fostered my appreciation of non-academic art in this country. Thus it was with great pleasure and much eagerness that I accepted the position at MAFA. In the short time I've been here, I have been impressed by the high level of public interest in the Museum and its programs, and especially by the support evidenced by its many members,friends, contributors, sponsors, and volunteers. I would like to report on the very special sponsorship of our upcoming exhibition Visiones del Pueblo: The Folk Art ofLatin America. The exhibit and its national tour are being made possible by Ford Motor Company and represent a timely presentation of the richly varied and vibrant tradition of Latin American folic art. This exhibition and concur-

rent educational programs continue the Museum's tradition of reaching out to a diverse public audience. We all look forward to a stimulating and informative exhibition, and thank Ford Motor Company for its generosity in making this presentation possible. The Museum has also been honored with a major planning grant of $150,000 from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund,for the development of an exhibition and video entitled From the Mind's Eye: America's Self-Taught Art ofthe Twentieth Century. This exhibit is tentatively scheduled for 1995 and I'll be sure to keep you all current on the progress of this exciting project. I know that many of you are looking forward to the Museum's annual Fall Antiques Show benefit. Ably chaired by Museum Trustees Lucy Danziger and Cynthia Schaffner, this year's theme is "Back Roads and By-ways" and salutes America's roadside culture. Those familiar with the Fall Antiques Show, organized by Sanford Smith, know what a treasure trove it is for folk art and fine American antiques, and I hope you will take the opportunity of attending what promises to be a funfilled evening. For more information see page 17 or call Katie Cochran at the Museum at 212/977-7170. Before I close, I would like to express my thanks to Catherine Dunworth and Katie Cochran for making my transition an easy and smooth one. Catherine, as many of you know, was Acting Director of Development for many months, and she single-handedly kept the crucial development effort moving forward. Likewise, Katie has done a yeoman's job in coordinating the many activities of the Fall Antiques Show benefit. I thank them both, and am happy to be working with such a fine staff in enhancing the support base of this vital museum.






Executive Committee Ralph Esmerian President Frances Sirota Martinson, Esq. Executive Vice President and Chairman, Executive Committee Lucy C. Danziger Executive Vice President Bonnie Strauss Vice President Peter M.Ciccone Treasurer Mrs. Dixon Wecter Secretary Karen D. Cohen Judith A. Jedlicka Joan M.Johnson

Theodore L. ICesselman Susan Klein Cynthia V. A. Schaffner George E Shaskan, Jr. Members Florence Brody David L. Davies Barbara Johnson, Esq. George H. Meyer, Esq. Cyril I. Nelson Kathryn Steinberg Maureen Taylor Robert N. Wilson

Honorary Trustee Eva Feld Trustees Emeriti Adele Earnest Cordelia Hamilton Herbert W. Hemphill, Jr. Margery G. Kahn Alice M.Kaplan Jean Lipman


Judith A. Jedlicka Theodore L. Kesselman Co-Chairmen Lewis Alpaugh Hoechst Celanese Corporation Gordon Bowman Corporate Creative Programs


Frank Brenner Hartmarx Corporation John Mack Carter Good Housekeeping Jerry Kaplan Better Homes and Gardens

Allan Kaufman Francine Lynch Rachel Newman Country Living Thomas Troland Country Home Barbara Wright NYNEX Worldwide Services





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JACK SAVITSKY 20th Century American Folk Artist • Oils • Acrylics • Drawings For Appointment Call

530 WEST 46 STREET NEW YORK, NY 10036 BY APPOINTMENT (212)307-0914






CURRENT MAJOR DONORS The Museum of American Folk Art greatly appreciates the generous support of the following friends: $20,000 and above Anheuser-Busch Companies,Inc. Asahi Shimbun Balair Ltd. Air Charter Company of Switzerland Ben & Jerry's Homemade,Inc. Better Homes & Gardens Judi Boisson Marilyn & Milton Brechner Chinon, Ltd. Estate ofThomas M.Conway Country Home The Joyce and Daniel Cowin Foundation Inc. Mr.& Mrs. Frederick M.Danziger Mrs. Eva Feld Estate of Morris Feld Ford Motor Company Foundation Krikor The Horace W.Goldsmith Foundation William Randolph Hearst Foundation James River Corporation/Northern Bathroom Tissue Kodansha, Ltd. Jean & Howard Lipman Joseph Martinson Memorial Fund Steven Michaan National Endowment for the Arts New York State Council on the Arts New York Telephone PaineWebber Group Inc. Philip Morris Companies Inc. Pro Helvetia, Arts Council of Switzerland Dorothy & Leo Rabkin Restaurant Associates Industries, Inc. Schlumberger Foundation Samuel Schwartz Two Lincoln Square Associates United States Information Agency Mrs. Dixon Wecter $10,00041.9,999 ABSOLUT Vodka Estate of Mary Allis Amicus Foundation Bear, Stearns & Co., Inc. Mr.& Mrs. Martin Brody Lily Cates Country Living David L. Davies Mr.& Mrs. Alvin Deutsch Adele Earnest Fairfield Processing Corporation/Poly-fir Daniel & Jessie Lie Farber Walter and Josephine Ford Fund Taiji Harada Barbara Johnson,Esq. Joan & Victor L. Johnson Shirley & Theodore L. Kesselman Masco Corporation Kathleen S. Nester Mr.& Mrs. George F Shaskan,Jr. Peter and Linda Soloman Foundation Springs Industries Mr.& Mrs. Robert Steinberg Barbara and Thomas W Strauss Fund


Robert N. & Anne Wright Wilson Wood Magazine $4,00049,999 The Bernhill Fund Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Joan Bull The David and Dorothy Carpenter Foundation Tracy & Barbara Cate Mr.& Mrs. Edgar M.Cullman Mr.& Mrs. Richard Danziger Department of Cultural Affairs, City of New York Jacqueline Fowler Richard Goodyear Hoechst Celanese Corporation Margery and Harry Kahn Philanthropic Fund Mr.& Mrs. Robert Klein Wendy & Mel Lavitt George H. Meyer The New York Times Company Foundation, Inc. Ramac Corporation The Reader's Digest Association,Inc. Sallie Mae/Student Loan Marketing Association S. H. and Helen R.Scheuer Family Foundation The William P. and Gertrude Schweitzer Foundation,Inc. Herbert and Nell Singer Foundation,Inc. Sotheby's Mr.& Mrs. Stanley Tananbaum Time Warner Inc. John Weeden The H. W. Wilson Foundation Norman and Rosita Winston Foundation The Xerox Foundation 112,00043,999 American Folk Art Society Estate of Abraham R Bersohn The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation Mr.& Mrs. Edwin M. Braman Mr. & Mrs. Edward J. Brown Capital Cities/ABC The Coach Dairy Goat Farm Mr. & Mrs. Peter Cohen Mr. & Mrs. Joseph E Cullman III Mr. & Mrs. Donald DeWitt Mr.& Mrs. Alvin Einbender Margot & John Ernst Richard C. and Susan B. Ernst Foundation Colonel Alexander W. Gentleman Cordelia Hamilton Justus Heijmans Foundation IBM Corporation Johnson & Johnson Manufacturers Hanover Trust Marsh & McLennan Companies Christopher & Linda Mayer Morgan Stanley & Co.,Incorporated Ortho Pharmaceutical Corporation Betsey Schaeffer Robert T. & Cynthia V. A. Schaffner Mr.& Mrs. Derek V. Schuster Mr.& Mrs. Ronald K.Shelp Randy Siegel Joel & Susan Simon L. J. Skaggs and Mary C. Skaggs Foundation Mr.& Mrs. Austin Super

William S. Taubman Mr.& Mrs. Richard T. Taylor Tiffany & Co. Alice Yelen & Kurt A. Gitter $1,00041,999 American Savings Bank William Arnett The Bachmann Foundation Didi & David Barrett Michael Belknap Adele Bishop Edward Vermont Blanchard & M. Anne Hill Bloomingdale's David S. Boyd Mabel H. Brandon Sandra Breakstone Ian G. M.& Marian M. Brownlie Morris B. and Edith S. Cartin Family Foundation Edward Lee Cave Chase Manhattan Bank, N. A. Liz Claiborne Foundation Conde Nast Publications Inc. Consolidated Edison Company of New York Consulate General of Mexico Judy Angelo Cowen The Cowles Charitable Trust Crane Co. Susan Cullman Gerald & Marie DiManno The Marion and Ben Duffy Foundation Mr.& Mrs. Arnold Dunn Echo Foundation Ellin F. Ente Virginia S. Esmerian Mr.& Mrs. Thomas Ferguson Janey Fire & John Kalymnios First Financial Carribean Corporation Louis R. and Nettie Fisher Foundation M. Anthony Fisher Susan & Eugene Flamm Evelyn W. Frank Emanuel Gerard The Howard Gilman Foundation Selma & Sam Goldwitz Mr.& Mrs. Baron Gordon Renee Graubart Doris Stack Greene Carol Griffis Terry & Simca Heled Stephen Hill Alice & Ronald Hoffman Mr.& Mrs. David S. Howe Mr.& Mrs. Yee Roy Jear Judith A. Jedlicka Dr. & Mrs. J. E. Jelinek Isobel & Harvey Kahn Kallir, Philips, Ross,Inc. Lore Kann Foundation Mr.& Mrs. Leslie Kaplan Lee & Ed Kogan Mr.& Mrs. Ronald Lauder Estate of Mary B. Ledwith William & Susan Leffler Dorothy & John Levy

SILVIO P. ZORATTI 1896 - 1992

"Silvio Peter Zoratti's work...speaks most fluently of the hopeful immigrant's dream of finding a new and better land." —IE. Porcelli See: Silvio Peter Zoratti: A Major New Discover in 20th Century American Folk Art—Antique Review, May 1991

Pair of portrait busts of Mr. and Mrs. Silvio Zoratti.

We are pleased to be representing the descendants of Silvio P. loran'. Call or write for color photographs and descriptions of individual carvings.

A portion of our selection of signed and dated carvings from the Zoratti menagerie. Tallest shown: 20" hi.

J.E. PORCELLI AMERICAN FOLK ART and AMERICANA P.O. Box 217, Cleveland, Ohio 44017 216-932-9087 All Inquiries 1*h-wine



James & Frances Lieu Robert and Betty Marcus Foundation,Inc. Marstrand Foundation C. E Martin IV Helen R. Mayer and Harold C. Mayer Foundation Marjorie W. McConnell Meryl & Robert Meltzer Brian & Pam McIver Michael & Marilyn Mennello The Mitsui USA Foundation Benson Motechin, C.P.A., P.C. Mattie Lou O'Kelley Paul Oppenheimer Dr. & Mrs. R. L. Polak Helen Popkin Random House,Inc. Cathy Rasmussen Ann-Marie Reilly Paige Rense Marguerite Riordan Dorothy H. Roberts Mrs. John D. Rockefeller III Daniel & Joanna S. Rose Willa & Joseph Rosenberg Mr. & Mrs. Jon Rotenstreich The Salomon Foundation Inc. Mr.& Mrs. William Schneck Mr.& Mrs. Richard Sears Rev. & Mrs. Alfred R. Shands III Mrs. Vera W.Simmons Philip & Mildred Simon Mrs. A.Simone Mr.& Mrs. Sanford L. Smith Mr.& Mrs. Richard L. Solar Mr.& Mrs. Elie Soussa Robert C.& Patricia A. Stempel Sterling Drug Inc. Swiss National Tourist Office SwissAir Phyllis & Irving Thpper Mrs. Anne Utescher H. van Ameringen Foundation Tony & Anne Vanderwarker Elizabeth & Irwin Warren Gotshala Manges Foundation Wertheim Schroder & Co. Mr. & Mrs. John H. Winkler $500-$999 A&P Helen & Paul Anbinder Anthony Annese Louis Bachman Arthur & Mary Barrett Mr. & Mrs. Frank Barsalona David C. Batten Robert Baum Roger S. Berlind Mrs. Anthony Berns Peter & Helen Bing Robert & Katherine Booth Michael 0. Braun Iris Carmel Classic Coffee Systems Limited Edward & Nancy Coplon Edgar M.Cullman, Jr. D'Agostino's

60 FALL 1992



Allan L. Daniel The Darmnann Fund,Inc. Gary Davenport Days Inn窶年ew York City Andre & Sarah de Coizart Mr.& Mrs. James DeSilva, Jr. Ross N. & Glady A. Faires Helaine & Burton Fendelman Howard & Florence Fertig John Fletcher Timothy C. Forbes Estelle E. Friedman Daniel M.Gantt Ronald J. Gard Mr.& Mrs. Bruce Geismar General Foods Barbara & Edmond Genest Mr.& Mrs. William L. Gladstone Irene & Bob Goodkind Great Performances Caterers Dr. & Mrs. Stanley Greenberg Grey Advertising,Inc. Connie Guglielmo The Charles U. Harris Living Trust Denison H. Hatch Arlene Hochman Mr.& Mrs. Albert L. Hunecke, Jr. Mr.& Mrs. Thomas C. Israel Guy Johnson Cathy M.Kaplan Louise & George Kaminow Mary Kettaneh Barbara Klinger Janet Langlois Peter M.Lehrer Mr.& Mrs. Richard M.Livingston Adrian B.& Marcie Lopez Lynn M.Lorwin R. H. Macy & Co.,Inc. Mrs. Erwin Maddrey Hermine Mariaux Michael T Martin Robin & William Mayer Mr.& Mrs. D. Eric McKechnie Gertrude Meister Gael Mendelsohn A.Forsythe Merrick Mrs. Ralph Merrill Pierson K. Miller Mrs.& Mrs. Arthur O'Day Geraldine M.Parker Dr. Burton W. Pearl Mr.& Mrs. Stanley M. Riker Betty Ring Mr.& Mrs. David Ritter Trevor C. Roberts Richard & Carmen Rogers Toni Ross Richard Sabinツー Mary Frances Saunders Schlaifer Nance Foundation Skidmore Owings& Merrill Smith Gallery Smithwick Dillon Karen Sobotka Amy Sommer Jerry I. Speyer David E Stein

Edward I. Tishelman Mr.& Mrs. Thomas Tuft David & Jane Walentas Clune J. Walsh Jr. Marco P. Walker Maryann & Ray Warakomski Washburn Galley Frank & Barbara Wendt Anne G. Wesson G. Marc Whitehead Mr.& Mrs. John R. Young Marcia & John Zweig The Museum is grateful to the Co-Chairwomen of its Special Events Committee for the significant support received through the Museum's major fund raising events. Karen D. Cohen Cynthia V. A. Schaffner

The Museum thanks the following donors for their recent gifts to the Permanent Collection, Library, and Education Collection: Ben Apfelbaum Roberto Emerson Camara Benjamin Liz Blackman,Outside-in Gallery, Los Angeles Dr. Stanley Burns Robert & Helen Cargo Sarah Cleary David L. Davies Lita M.Elvers Winifred E Eichler Ralph Esmerian Dan & Jeanne Fauci Kinuko Fujii Marcy & Elias Getz Bequest of Gary W. Hagar Cordelia Hamilton Carol Henry Kirk Hollingsworth Judith A. Jedlicka Joan & Victor Johnson The J.M.Kaplan Fund Martha Leversuch Howard & Jean Lipman Marion County, Georgia, Historic Society Robert G.& Mary B. Matthews George H. Meyer K. Nathan Gallery Cyril Irwin Nelson Mary C. Newlin Dorothy & Leo Rabkin Martha Lamarque Sarno Charles & Eugenia Shannon Lorraine Slighter Maurice & Patricia Thompson Elizabeth Wachs Nancy C. Wahlin Maude Wahlman Eve Wine Lori Zabar


Americana & Folk Art Saturday,October 24th -10:30 a.m. Austinburg, Ohio


1 1/4 mile South of 1-90 on Route 45 DeFina Auctions is honored to present this important collection of approx. 130 works by Silvio P. Zoratti. Our second sale of over 100 works in April '91 received an overwhelmingly positive response. This will be the last auction directly from the artists personal collection.

ART FAIR naive self-taught visionary intuitive outsider folk •

0 , 41



FRANK HOLDER'S METAL MENAGERIE September 11 - October 24 _


P Zoratti 1896 - 1992

Silvio P Zoratti was born in Italy and came to the United States in 1919. He began carving in wood and stone in 1958, following his retirement from the Nickel Plate Railroad and continued until 1986 when his failing eyesight forced him to end his "hobby" Colored Zoratti photo packets are available. They will include a descriptive list of each item. Individual photos are $3 each. Catalogs from our April 1991 sale are $10. (Limited availability) Absentee Bids Accepted - No Buyer's Premium Terms: Cash or Check upon approval Out of State Bank Letter of Credit MasterCard or Visa with 3% in house charge

Urban Artware Gallery 207 West 6th Street • Winston-Salem, NC 27101 (919) 722-2345

DeFina Auctions 1591 STATE ROUTE 45, AUSTINBURG, OHIO 44010 FAX (216) 275-2028 PHONE (216) 275-6674

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Museum's Docent Program Celebrates Its Third Year hat materials were usedfor this sculpture? Do you have a reproduction ofthatpainting in the shop? Where can Iget a crosstown bus? What exhibition will be on view next May? Where is the rest room? These questions and many others are routinely answered with patience each day by the Museum's corps of volunteer docents. On May 18th, the Museum took a moment to recognize the contribution of the forty-three men and women that currently comprise the volunteer docent program. The docents'role is twofold. They are an important presence in the Eva and Morris Feld Gallery, orienting visitors and answering questions. They also play a vital role in the educational mission of the Museum by providing interpretive tours to school children, adults, senior citizens, and specialneeds groups. Our docents come from a variety of backgrounds, which range from teaching to business to telecommunications to finance. Some are artists and craftspeople, while others are active collectors and scholars. Docents expand their knowledge offolk art by taking classes at the Museum's Folk Art Institute, and by attending curatorial lectures. They often put in hours of research on



their own time in preparation for their exhibition tours. Through the support of Museum Trustee Frances Sirota Martinson, Esq., and a generous donation from the Joseph B. Martinson Fund, the Museum was able to present an engraved pin designed in the heart-in-hand motif to twenty-six docents, recognizing their three years of service at the Gallery. Martinson acknowledged the valuable contribution the docents make to the Museum, and quoted a recent article in the London Weekend Telegraph which praised the "friendly and knowledgeable staff" of the Eva and Morris Feld Gallery The Museum is always looking for dedicated individuals to participate in the docent program. To apply, you should have some background in folk art, a willingness to give tours to a variety of groups, and a desire to expand your knowledge of folk art. If you would like an application, please contact Catherine Fulcushima at 212/595-9533.

Docent Ada Lyttle explains

The Museum of American Folk Art Docent Program Dominick Basile Irwin Gittleman Jeanne Riger Milagros Beck Mildred Gladstone Diane Rigo Bernice Berkower Ester Gruskiewicz George Roller Mercedes Bierman Diane C. Hill Alice G. Rothblum Joan Bloom Arlene Hochman Judy Rothstein Sheila Brummel Maridean Hutton Marilyn Schwartz Sara Clinton Mary Jacobs Marion Shapin Clarie J. Cowdery Louise Karninow Meg Smeal Debbie Dunn Barbara Klinger Sara Snook Joyce Eppler Sharon D. Koota Lynn Steuer Deborah C. Feld Jean Lang Yolanda Van de Krol Minnie Finkelstein Dorothy Jane Lichtman Joan Wagner Nancy Fischer Ada Lyttle Ann Wrenn Anita Folkerth Elizabeth Merten Samantha Moore Miriam Nadel Susan Oostdyk Gertrude Quinn

weaving techniques to a group from Long Island

Docent Barbara Klinger takes a group learning English as a second language through the Santos de Palo exhibition

Institute Graduation and Docent Award Ceremony On May 18th, Editor-in-Chiefof Country Home magazine Jean LemMon delivered the keynote address at thefifth graduation Docent Ann Wrenn prepares

ofthe Museum's Folk Art Institute. Christine Hess, Sarah Barr

for an upcoming exhibition in the Museum's library

Snook and Ann Z. Wrenn completed the thirty-six credit program and were awarded certificates as "Fellows ofthe Museum of American Folk Art." The graduation, preceded by an elegant tea, was held at the Eva and Morris Feld Gamy in conjunction with a docent award ceremony. Diplomas were presented by Barbara Cate, Director ofthe Folk Art Institute, to the three graduates. Lee Kogan, Assistant Director ofthe Institute, provided comments on the academic careers ofeach ofthe students. She was happy to announce that Sarah Snook was accepted and plans to matriculate in the Masters! Ph.D. program in Art History at Columbia University, New York. Frances Sirota Martinson, Esq., Vice President ofthe

Children always love the

Museum's Board of Trustees, presented awards to twenty-six docents

St. Tammany weathervane. Here, docents Meg Smeal and Louise Kaminow take a

who have served at the gallery since its opening three years ago.

group of second-graders from Brooklyn through the Museum

More Folk Art Institute News Accolades are in orderfor Folk Art Institute students now pursuing their career goals in other institutions. Yolanda Van de Krol recently received a two-year graduatefellowship and a stipend to attend the highly competitive Winterthur Program in Early American Culture, which operates in conjunction with the University ofDelaware at Newark, Delaware. Brad Marcus was awarded afull scholarship to complete his undergraduate education at Berea College, in Berea, Kentucky. Keynote speaker Jean LemMon, Editor-In-Chief of Country Home magazine


(Museum News continued on page 70)


MAIN STREET ANTIQUES and ART Colleen and Louis Picek Folk Art and Country Americana (319) 643-2065 110 West Main, Box 340 West Branch, Iowa 52358

•:•:•:-..-a.1 lAit

On Interstate 80 Send a self-addressed stamped envelope for our monthly Folk-Art and Americana price list

Three hand-carved and painted carousel heads circa 1920s-30s (121/2"x 7"x 4")

home town (a new store)

come visit! country furniture • folk art • collectibles 131 wooster (at prince)soho new york 10012 tues-sun 11-7 212-674-5770


FALL 1992




We Have An Outstanding Selection of Paintings by

The Beaver"

WANDA'S QUILTS P.O. Box 1764 • Oldsmar, Florida 34677 (813)855-1521

of Athada










3 Charles Street, NYC 10014

711.0.0!WC MO ,rsis O




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011 11,.S. FOLK ART FROM AMERICA'S LEADING ARTISTS. We are private dealers for serious collectors and galleries; exclusive representative for a number of emerging artists. Our collection includes masterworks of well-known outsiders at "insiders" prices.

Call for a brochure. 1-800-FOLK-ART

5325 ROSWELL ROAD,N.E.• ATLANTA,GEORGIA 30342 (404) 252-0485• FAX 252-0359


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FAX: 312 664

Purvis Youn CONTEMPORARY FOLK TRIBAL ART Minnie Adkins Jesse Aaron Linv el Barker The Beaver Pricilla Cassidy Ronald Cooper Mr. Eddy Denzil Goodpasture Homer Green Alvin Jarrett Helen LaFrance Carl McKenzie

PRISCILLA CASSIDY House Paint on Board


"Show and Tell" 24" x 30"


Hog Mattingly Frank Pickel Braxton Ponder Dow Pugh Royal Robertson Sultan Rogers Jimmy Lee Sudduth "Son" Thomas Mose Tolliver Fred Webster Wesley Willis And Others



BY APPOINTMENT (615-352-1970)

Also Servicing the Following Areas: Chicago/Milwaukee • Brimfield, MA/New England • New Orleans/Houston • Atlanta/Palm Beach

FALL 1992



1070 Madison Avenue New York, NY 10028


(between 80 & 81 Streets)


Sweet and provocative 20th century art from Africa and the Americas.

Mon-Sat: 10-6 Call for Sunday hours

Homer Green Collection includes: J.B. Murray, Howard Finster, David Butler, Sam Doyle, Mary T. Smith, Jim Sudduth, "Son" Thomas, Royal Robertson, James Harold Jennings, Mose T., Lonnie Holley, B.F. Perkins,Willie White, Raymond Coins, Charlie Lucas, William Dawson, Ike Morgan, Clementine Hunter, Herbert Singleton, Alvin Jarrett, Luster Willis, "Artist Chuckie" Williams, LeRoy Almon, Sr., M.G. 50 Jones and others.




"Angel" 38"x341 / 2"xl 0"


FALL 1992


7520 Perkins Road Baton Rouge, La. 70808 504-767-0526


THE LITCHFIELD AUCTION GALLERY,in conjunction with Roy Thompson, is pleased to announce an


auction of American contemporary folk art and Outsider Art to be held at the Litchfield Auction Gallery, Saturday, November 21, 1992, beginning at 10:30 A.M. Exhibition and preview from Tuesday, November 17 to Friday November 20, from 11 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. A wine and cheese preview party will be held from 5:00 P.M. to 8:00 P.M. on Friday, November 20. A fully illustrated catalogue is available by mail for $15.00, including post sales results. Sale will consist of over 300 works.


James Harold Jennings.

Partial List of Artists Willie Massey Leroy Almon, Sr. The Meaders Family John Brock Howard Finster (early works) Richard Burnside Reuben A. Miller BurIon B. Craig Ike Morgan William Dawson Rev. Benjamin Perkins Josephus Farmer Royal Robertson Lonnie Holley Jack Savitsky Clementine Hunter Hugo Sperger Billy Ray Hussey Q.J. Stephenson James Harold Jennings Jimmy Lee Sudduth Clyde Jones Mose Tolliver Charles Kinney Edgar Tolson Charles Lisk SPECIAL NOTE: This sale will also include approximately 30 important works from the estate of Connecticut folk carver John Vivolo, 1886-1987.

THE LITCHFIELD AUCTION GALLERY is located on route 202 in Litchfield, Connecticut, about one hour from Bradley International Airport and two hours from New York City. Please telephone if you require any travel assistance.(203) 567-3126. Mailing address: P.O. Box 1337, Litchfield CT 06759.

Eldred Wheeler Gallery • 3941 San Felipe • Houston, Texas 77027 • (713) 622-6225




Atlanta Tour he Museum's Folk Art Explorers' Club gathered in Atlanta on May 5th to kick off a five-day tour. Their itinerary included visits to the Martin Luther King Center, the Jimmy Carter Library, and the Atlanta Historical Society's Swan House, as well as private collections, museums, and galleries. Very special thanks to the following people who helped make this trip so successful: Randy and Jill Siegel, Stanley and Stevie Sackin, Michael Finster, Leroy Almon, Robert Reeves, David Knoke, Debbie Charter, R.A. Miller, Linda Alexander, Shepard Barbash, Vicki Ragan, Bert and Jane Hunecke, Dwayne and Cecile Thompson, Helen Meadors, Susan Belew, Bill Arnett, John Denton, Rick Berman, and Mark Karelson.

T SUBWAY RIDERS; Ralph Fasanella; 1950;oil on canvas; 28 x

Art in the New York City Subways he Museum of American Folk Art hosted a reception on June 11, 1992, to launch a fund-raising drive to acquire Subway Riders, a painting by Ralph Fasanella which will be placed in a climate-controlled case at the Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street subway station. The reception was put together by Ron Carver, whose organization, Public Domain, has been instrumental in placing paintings by Ralph Fasanella in several musuems and public spaces, including the recent placement of Family Supper at the Ellis Island Immigration Museum. The artist, Ralph Fasanella, was present at the reception. The effort to purchase and install Subway Riders is being jointly coordinated by the Museum and the Transport Workers Union Local 100. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority will oversee the construction of a case to house the painting at the 53rd Street station.



During the reception, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority was represented by its chairman, Peter Stangl, who addressed the assembled guests about the symbolic importance of this painting and the MTNs efforts to make the subways more welcoming to its riders. Frank O'Brien, Vice President of the Transport Workers Union Local 100, also expressed his support of this project and of Fasanella's work. Assemblyman Frank J. Barbaro noted the way in which Fasanella's paintings hail the nobility of ordinary working people going about their daily business. He encouraged guests, who had the opportunity to meet Mr. Fasanella, to support the project by purchasing a poster of Subway Riders at $10, a signed poster at $20, or a signed and numbered, limited edition print at $1,000. The Museum of American Folk Art is actively seeking contributions for the acquisition of this painting. For more information, please contact the Development Office of the Museum at 212/977-7170.

Gallery Associates'Great Success n June 15th, the Museum's Gallery Associates held a private viewing and reception at Christie's June auction of American furniture, silver, folk art, and decorative arts. Over 180 people attended the benefit, which raised $5,000 for the Museum's educational pro-


grams. The Gallery Associates is a committee of dedicated young people who share an interest in folk art; this group plans educational activities for its members and helps to raise money for the Museum's public programs. A special thanks to Christie's for their warm hospitality. For more information about the Gallery Associates, please call Catherine Fukushima at 212/595-9533.


TRAVELING EXHIBITIONS Mark your calendars for the following Museum of American Folk Art exhibitions when they travel to your area during the coming months: June 27, 1992-October 18, 1992 Patterns of Prestige: The Development and Influence of the Saltillo Sarape The Oakland Museum Oakland, California 510/238-3842

September 21, 1992November 15, 1992 Swiss Folk Art: Celebrating America's Roots Federal Reserve Board Washington, District of Columbia 202/452-3686

July 1, I992-September 4, 1992 Swiss Folk Art: Celebrating America's Roots Museum of American Frontier Culture Stanton, Virginia 703/332-7850

October 9, 1992-January 3, 1993 Woven for Warmth: Coverlets from the Collection of the Museum of American Folk Art Allentown Art Museum Allentown, Pennsylvania 215/432-4333

July 20, 1992-September 14, 1992 Access to Art': Bringing Folk Art Closer Art Gallery of Nova Scotia Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada 901/424-7542

October 30, 1992-December 31, 1992 Continuing Traditions in American Folk Art(USIA) Franz Mayer Museum Mexico City, Mexico

August 15, 1992-October 11, 1992 Santos de Palo: The Household Saints of Puerto Rico Terra Museum of American Art Chicago, Illinois 312/664-3939 August 30, 1992-September 31, 1992 Continuing Traditions in American Folk Art(USIA) Museo National de Bellos Artes Santiago, Chile August 31, 1992-October 26, 1992 Access to Art: All Creatures Great and Small Museum of Arts and Sciences Macon, Georgia 912/477-3232


November 9. 1992-January 4,1993 Patterns of Prestige: The Development and Influence of the Saltillo Sarape Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art Indianapolis, Indiana 317/636-9378

as reported in

Business Week The New Yorker The New York Times The Village Voice

November 13, 1992December 20, 1992 Santos de Palo: The Household Saints of Puerto Rico Krannert Art Museum Champaign, Illinois 217/333-1860

True American Folk Art Guaranteed to be as described

November 14, 1992-January 24, 1993 The Cutting Edge: Contemporary American Folk Art from the Rosenak Collection Whatcom Museum of History and Art Bellingham, Washington 206/676-6981 November 29, I992-January 17, 1993 Access to Art": All Creatures Great and Small Museum of Fine Arts Saint Petersburg, Florida 813/896-2667

36 West, 44th Street New York, NY 10036 (212) 391-0688

For further information contact Alice J. Hoffman, Director of Exhibitions, Museum of American Folk Art, Administrative Offices, 61 West 62nd Street, New York, New York 10023, Telephone 212/977-7170


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(Museum News continued on page 74)

FALL 1992



THE HIGHER YOU CLIMB, 1977,#432,40" x 30"

Howard Finster Over 35 very early works available. Also Works By J. B. Murray Mose Tolliver B.F. Perkins Jimmy Sudduth

C.S. Singer American Folk and Outsider Art 3340 Harvest Way + Marietta, Georgia 30062 +(404)565-8263

FOLK ART Mr."B" says,

"My desire is to have my Folk Art tell a story about the simple life. I live in every picture I paint." He hopes you can find some joy and happiness in his paintings. Mr."B"'s Subjects: Blacks • Indians • Animals • Children Quilts • Emotions • Life • Dreams

Medium: Mr. "B" - The Hunt" - 20" x 22"

Dimensional Paints and Latex Paints (On Board)

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Linda I3everland •8023 S. Meadow View Circle • Tampa, FL 33265 •(813) 920-5972


American Folk Art Gallery Sheldon Shapiro, Gallery Director 14 A North Meramec St. Louis, MO 63105 (314) 725-4334

Contemporary American Folk Art Outsider Art Self Taught Artists Visionaries BALLOON LADY By Jon Serl 1974, Oil on Board 351/2" x 267/4"


LEON LOARD GALLERY Don Bundrick A. E. Barnes Sam Doyle David Butler Howard Finster Minnie Evans Lonnie Holley Sybil Gibson James H. Jennings Clementine Hunter Calvin Livingston M.C. Sc Jones Charlie Lucas Woodie Long B.F. Perkins R.A. Miller Daca Ra Bamma ()mites Juanita Rogers Sarah Rakes Mary T. Smith Bernice Sims Jimmie Lee Sudduth Annie Tolliver Inez Walker Mose Tolliver and others Fred Webster Montgomery, AL 36106 2781 Zelda Road 1 (800)345-0538 in Alabama 1(205)270-9010

Sam Doyle Onk Sam

acrylic on metal

1(800)235-6273 in USA

29" X 28'

Fax 1(205)270-0150

FALL 1992









Kitty Carlisle Hart and Trustee Lucy C. Danziger at the quilt presentation



' Barber Shop Sign- Burkina Faso




from Africa, Asia and the Americas

Philadelphia, PA 19107

215 440 0202


1102 Pine Street

Authors Jacqueline M. Atkins and Phyllis A. Tepper


Bon Apfelbaum offers access to the finest work of Thornton Dial, Ronald Lockett, Lonnie Holley and other known and unknown 20th-century artists, in oil, watercolor and sculptural forms. Cand. member, A.S.A.; Folk Art and Americana appraisals. By appointment. 914-636-0168 or 914-636-4666 Grained & Painted Furniture. Old and new chests, fireboards, mirrors featuring vinegar graining and faux finishes. Showroom in Washington, D.C. area. Commissions considered. Call for appointment. KRISTIN HELBERG,P.O. Box 1941, Silver Spring, MD. 20915(301)681-5210. Brazilian Folk Art & Amazonian Indian Art.Several hundred items on display. Carved wooden votive sculptures,(ex-votos), Macumba Candomble altar icons (ferramentos), Carrancas, and various Indian art of fifteen tribes. Tribe Gallery, 196 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11215. 718-499-8200


FALL 1992


Faux & Folk Finishes. Painting, graining, marbelizing and murals. Custom work furniture and architectural designs. Free estimates. Rubens Teles 914-365-2917 Clarion Back Issues—All issues available for 1988, 1989, 1990 at $10.00 per issue. 1991 to present $5.00 per copy. Select back issues are available from 1979 to 1987 at $10.00 per issue. Send your inquiry to Hildegard Vetter do Museum of American Folk Art Postage & handling additional. Just for Nies—Most comprehensive book on Pennsylvania woodcarving. Illustrating 275 carvings in full color. Biographies of thirty previously unidentified carvers. Hardcover, indexed, bibliography. $35.00 postpaid for Christmas. Historical Society of Berks County, MAF,940 Centre Avenue, Reading, PA 19601.

Book Signing and Quilt Presentation ew York Beauties: Quilts From the Empire State, a cultural and social history of New York State quiltmakers, made its debut at a book-signing reception held at the Museum's Eva and Morris Feld Gallery on June 18th. Co-authored by Jacqueline M. Atkins and Phyllis A. Tepper and published by Dutton Studio Books, The New York Quilt Project's book contains 150 color plates of quilts made in New York State prior to 1940. Members of the Museum showed up in force to meet the authors — 120 signed copies were sold during the two hour reception. Museum Director Gerard C. Wertkin announced plans for an exhibition of the New York Quilt


Project quilts. The book will serve as the catalog for the upcoming exhibit, and it may be ordered by mail from either of the Museum's shops. Kitty Carlisle Hart, Chairperson of the New York State Council on the Arts, participated in the celebration and accepted a quilt entitled Poets, Playwrights and Authors on behalf of the State of New York. This quilt was made by members of the Long Island Quilter's Society in honor of the New York Quilt Project and the publication of New York Beauties. It features many literary greats born in New York such as Walt Whitman, James Baldwin, Moss Hart, and Susan Sontag.

Joy •A•t•Aritioh Scull Sisters O.L. Samuels Mary Shelley Barbara Moment Robyn Beverland Alyne Harris Eric R. Holmes Joseph Abrams and all the regulars

Gallery of the Eccentric 233 Aragon Avenue Coral Gables, Florida 33134 305.446.5550

Folk and Outsider Art from Florida and Elsewhere


Navajo Concha Belt Early 20th Century Coin Silver

Vanity Novelty Garden 918 Lincoln Road Miami Beach, Florida 33139 305.534.6115

Timpson Creek Gallery Wood Carvings By Georgia Artist

Roy Minshew Featured Artist October 17-31, 1992

706-782-5164 Route Two, Box 2117, Clayton, Georgia 30525

FALL 1992




























1402-4 NORTH HIGHLAND AVE., ATLANTA, GA. 30306 (404)892-0556



Representing: David Butler Clementine Hunter Rev. Howard Finster Mike Frolich OW."Pappy" Kitchens Sr. Gertrude Morgan Jimmie Lee Sudduth Willie White and many other important Outsider artists



"Ram" 1978, wool, paint on cottonwood 31"x 42"x 15"


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Featured Artist at the Country Folk Art Festival Marlborough, Mass October 23, 24,25 We've Moved BARBARA OLSEN STUDIO 1700 East 13th Street, Suite 23 SE Cleveland, OH 44114 (216)861-3549 FAX(216)861-0667 By Appointment Framed Print of this Image Available

10 x 14 • watercol

EPSTEIN/POWELL 22 Wooster St., New York, N.Y. 10013 By Appointment(212)226-7316 Jesse Aaron Rex Clawson Mr. Eddy Antonio Esteves Howard Finster Victor Joseph Gatto (Estate) Reverend Hunter James Harold Jennings S.L. Jones Lawrence Lebduska Justin McCarthy Peter Minchell Emma Lee Moses Inez Nathaniel Old Ironsides Pry Popeye Reed Max Romain Jack Savitsky Isaac Smith Clarence Stringfield Mose Tolliver Floretta Warfel Chief Willey George Williams Luster Willis and others

Lawrence Lebduska 1894-1966

c. 1940 o/c 18x22

FALL 1992




Angela Negus Spooner and Children; Caroline Negus; Petersham, MA;1835; watercolor and crayon on cardboard; 63/8 x 89/16. Courtesy Old

Meet Your Neighbors: New England Portraits, Painters, & Society, 1790-1850, the new exhibition catalog from Old Sturbridge Village, is a look at the functional nature of portraiture, its viability as a readable social document, and its role in encouraging trends of consumerism from the period following the American Revolution through the middle of the nineteenth century. The three essays contributed by Jack Larkin, Chief Historian, Old Sturbridge Village; Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, Curator of American Decorative Arts, Wadsworth Atheneum; and David Jaffee, Assistant Professor in the Department of History, City College of New York, present the symbiotic relationship between the portrait painter and his client from different perspectives, sometimes offering three interpretations of the same painting. It may come as no surprise that historians Larkin and Jaffee take strong analytical views of the portrait as a commercial product as well as a "social image," while Kornhauser examines the work of the artist through an art-historical tracing of the antecedents of such portraiture, the artist's training and methods, and the function of the portrait within the society he was depicting.


The entrepreneurial itinerant artisan played an important role as a participant, indeed carver, of a new market society, shaping the "new economic order of the countryside." According to David Jaffee, these portrait painters collectively changed the "...commodities in which they dealt from scarce and costly luxury items to mass consumer goods." The portraits painted by these artists represent the first large group of ordinary Americans to leave visual records behind and, based on data collected and interpreted by Jack Larkin, roughly reflect the age structure of New England society at the time. In his essay, Larkin reminds us that "Not one of these paintings was a disembodied image at the time of its making. Each represented a definable individual within his or her social milieu, as a memorial, a token of celebration, or a symbol of achievement." Originally, these portraits served as links between generations, but have frequently become divorced from their original social meanings. One of the aims of this catalog and the exhibition is to remarry the portrait to its context. The middle-class patrons who commissioned these portraits were purchasing, according to authors Larkin and Jaffee, not "art," but "artisanry"; symbols of status that also enhanced the home. In their essays, the artists are carefully referred to as "nonacademic painters" or "artisans," reinforcing their roles as perpetrators of mass consumer goods. The authors' interpretations of the social meanings of the paintings are supported by references to John Michael Vlach, Plain Painters: Making Sense of

Sturbridge Village


Meet Your Neighbors: New England Portraits, Painters,& Society, 1790-1850 Caroline E Sloat, editor; with essays by Jack Larkin, Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser, and David Jaffee; catalog of the exhibition by Jessica E Nicoll. Old Sturbridge Village, Sturbridge, MA,1992. Distributed by the University of Massachusetts Press $40.00 hardcover $24.95 softcover

American Art, and Kenneth L. Ames,Beyond Necessity: Art in the Folk Thadition, among other sources, though Larkin freely admits that other perspectives exist in this field of study. The tone of the essays is sometimes inconsistent, however, with Jessica E Nicoll's remarks in the catalog of the paintings that follow. In comments about the transition some artists made from portraiture to dageurreotypy, Nicoll credits the artist with a sensitivity and knowledge of composition superior to other practitioners of the new process. But it would be wrong to concur to any extent with the implication that non-academic painters, in general, had no "real talent," a suggestion disputed in the discussion of William Matthew Prior's portrait of Jesse Hartshorn. Using Prior's disparate painting styles as a barometer for other portrait painters, it is stated that Prior's ability to paint "academic" portraits combined with evidence of "real talent" in his early selfportrait, "belies the notion that all non-academic painters worked in a naive style because they lacked ability." Perhaps even closer to the truth is the fact that few of these artists had an opportunity to develop their talents beyond the limits of their own practice and study. The best arguments for the talent underlying so many of the paintings we characterize as "folk portraits" are the many beautifully executed works that speak eloquently of an individual artist's ability to construct strategies that allowed him to successfully cope

with technical challenges he would have been taught to overcome through formal training. The selection of portraits, culled from the collections of Old Sturbridge Village and other institutions, yields a great deal of useful information about artist and subject. Because the paintings are not viewed, necessarily, as works of "art," their visual success is secondary to the stories they tell about the relationship between artist and sitter, their economic, social, and personal lives, and patterns of patronage. One fascinating pair of unfinished portraits may finally put to rest the myth that itinerant artists stockpiled pre-painted bodies to which heads where later added. During the nineteenth century, an unprecedented number of portraits were painted for first-time art patrons. Who was painted and by whom,the methods that were used, the purpose of the commission, and its broad-based meaning in New England life are intelligently discussed and engagingly presented in this thought-provoking catalog. —Stacy C. Hollander

Stacy C. Hollander is the Curator of Collections ofthe Museum of American Folk Art and a Lore Kann Research Fellow. She is the author of Harry Lieberman: A Journey of Remembrance, Dutton Studio Books (1991)and co-author of Expressions of a New Spirit: Highlights from the Permanent Collection of the Museum of American Folk Art.





68" x16'

1441-10*** AVE. • COCOA:BEACH






"Considered the finest show of its type in the United States!" Exceptional artisans featured in EARLY AMERICAN LIFE, COUNTRY LIVING, COLONIAL HOMES & COUNTRY HOME magazines will be offering for sale authentic reproductions of American country & formal furniture & accessories, contemporary folk art, & country crafts. INCLUDING: Amish quilts, baskets, blacksmith, candles, carvings, clocks, copper, country & formal furniture & accessories, coverlets, decoys, dolls, grain painted items, dried flowers, lamp shades, lighting fixtures, needlework, pottery, primitive portraits, rugs, samplers, scissor cuttings, Shaker items, stencil work, teddy bears, tinsmith, toys, whirligigs, windsor chairs, & more!

ROYAL PLAZA TRADE CENTER 1-495 and Route 20, Marlborough, Massachusetts Directions: North or South on Route 495 to exit 24B. Go straight west 1 mile to Royal Plaza sign and turn right. Friday, October 23 - 6PM-10PM Saturday, October 24 - 10AM-6PM Sunday, October 25 - 11AM-5PM I Admission Friday evening - $5.00; Saturday & Sunday - $4.00. Food & Refreshments Available "A Great Way to Augment Your Antique Collection"

Country Folk Art Festival

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Judy Marks P.O. Box 134, Glen Ellyn, IL. 60138 (708) 858-1568


In 1972, doctors told Bonnie and Nat Pelner that their 4-year-old son Greg was autistic and should be institutionalized. They thought otherwise and raised Greg at home. Twenty years later, Greg Pelner's work has been the subject of a sold-out, one-person show. His remarkable drawings of animals and human figures are now in collections throughout the United States, including that of Chuck and Jan Rosenak, noted collectors and authors of the "Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of TwentiethCentury American Folk Art and Artists."


6909 MELROSE AVENUE LOS ANGELES CA 90038 213.933. 4096





'all of us americans' 18 America Hurrah 19, 20, 21 America Oh, Yes 66 American Folk Art Gallery 73 American Primitive Gallery 25 Ames Gallery of American Folk Art 8 art inside 79 Linda Beverland 72 Robert Cargo Folk Art Gallery 35 Christie's 3 Country Folk Art Festival 79 Country Living Magazine Inside Back Cover DeFina Auctions 61 Epstein/Powell 77 Espiritu 68 Laura Fisher Antiques 24 Gallery of the Eccentric 75 Gallery 1775 7 Gasperi Gallery 76 Sidney Gecker American Folk Art 26 Gilley's Gallery 68 Grove Decoys 71 Anton Haardt Gallery 16


FALL 1992


Haymarket Americana & Art 23 John C. Hill American Indian Art 75 home town 64 Leslie Howard/Alternative Art Source 66 Indigo Gallery 74 Lynne Ingram Southern Folk Art 34 Kelter-Malce Antiques 27 Phyllis Kind Gallery 2 Knoke Galleries 66 Jim Linderman 57 Litchfield Auction Gallery 69 Leon Loard Gallery 73 Main Street Antiques 64 Marketplace 74 Frank J. Miele Gallery Inside Front Cover Steve Miller 1 Judith and James Milne 18 Modern Primitive Gallery 76 Leslie Muth Gallery 15 Objects Gallery 67 Barbara Olsen 77 Outside-in 80 the Pilgrim Group 57

J.E. Porcelli 59 Carol and Gene Rappaport 36 Red Piano Art Gallery 12 Ricco/Maresca Gallery 28 Stella Rubin 22 John Keith Russell Antiques, Inc. Back Cover Jack Savitt Gallery 57 David A. Schorsch 10 Bruce Shelton 67 C.S. Singer 72 Skinner, Inc. 14 Sanford L. Smith & Assoc. 29,61 Sotheby's 30 the Splendid Peasant ltd. Antiques 13 Timpson Creek Gallery 75 Urban Artware Gallery 61 Vanity Novelty Garden 75 Wanda's Quilts 65 Marcia Weber/Art Objects, Inc. 34 Eldred Wheeler Gallery 69 Thos. K. Woodard 4 Yellow House Antiques 8 Ginger Young 9

AMERICA'S LARGEST AND FAVORITE SHOWCASE FOR ANTIQUES AND FOLK ART VISIT THE EDITORS AT THE FALL ANTIQUE SHOW AT THE PIER A publication of Hearst Magazines, a division of The Hearst Corporation. ©1992 The Hearst Corporation.


Rare and Important Painted Shaker Bed, Of Unusual Height, Measuring 45 Inches, Harvard, Massachusetts, Circa 1840,


(914)763-8144• FAX:(914)763-3553


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