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FRANK J. MIELE gallery j. r. adkins • sylvia alberts • sandra anderson • andrea badami • sandra berry • james alien bloomfield • sally cook • john cross • vestie davis • barbara falk • william fellini • richard gachot • dan gayder• didi goldmark•josephine graham • lou hirshman •diana jackson • kathy jakobsen • edwin a. johnson • anima katz • • maureen kennedy • warren kimble • gustave klumpp • sadie kurtz • joan landis • price larson • lawrence lebduska • harry lieberman •

SELF-TAUGHT AMERICAN ARTISTS • jean lipman

• justin mccarthy • linda mears

• barbara moment • jack

moment• charles munro •janet munro •"pucho" odio • mattie lou o'kelley • kevin orth • paul w. patton •joseph pickett • susan powers •janis price •"old ironsides" pry • sophy p. regensburg • jack savitsky • barbara schrag • chick schwartz • andre schwob • antoinette schwob•leo sewell• mary shelley• helen smagorinsky • jes snyder • fannie lou spelce • brad stephens • dan stercula • david stuart • maurice sullins • kris nelson

tinker •

young • larry

zingale

immanuel trujillo • valerie

1262 Madison Avenue New York, N.Y. 10128 (212) 876-5775


STEVE MILLER • AMERICAN FOLK ART

"Long Bill Curlew" by Thos. Gelston, ca. 1910 (left), Probably the finest example of a dowitcher by John Dilley, Quogue,L.I., ca. 1900 (right). Both in superb original paint with original bills. "The Art of the Decoy" does not get any better.

17 East 96th Street, New York, New York 10128(212)348-5219 Gallery hours are from 1:00 pm until 6:00 pm,Tuesday through Saturday. Other hours are available by appointment.


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American Antiquts,Inc. Furnishing quality antiques and folk art to collectors, dealers and museums for investment and pleasure at reasonable prices since 1976.

Rare and important folk art fraternal hooked rag rug, late 19th century. This rug depicts St. George slaying the dragon as well as other fraternal symbols including: an all-seeing eye in a radiating delta, a cross, and the Latin motto "Quis Ut Deus," in the shield. This rug retains vivid colors and is in excellent condition. Size 40 x 29 inches. NOTE: This rug probably originated in one of the fraternal organizations listed below. 1. The Order of the Sons of St. George, New York, New York, no longer extant. 2. St. George's Society of New York, still active. 3. St. George's Association of the U.S A., still active. These organizations are composed of individuals of British descent and organized to help Englishmen in the United States.

Austin T. Miller • 2820 Lymington Road, Columbus, Ohio 43220 • (614) 442-8178


JOEL AND KATE KOPP

AME IA HURRAH 766 MADISON AVENUE NEW YORK NY 10021

tel 212.535.1930 fax 212.249.9718

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SUNFLOWER COMPASS QUILT Pieced cotton. Made by a member of the Bordon Family. Rhinebeck, N.Y., c. 1835. 88" x 78"


AMERICAN ANTIQUES & QUILTS

Figural hooked rug. Pennsylvania. Fourth-quarter nineteenth-century. 451/4 x 52 inches.

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

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


FOLK ART VOLUME 19, NUMBER 2/SUMMER 1994 (FORMERLY THE CLARION)

FEAT

Cover: Detail of FLASH ART; Bob Wicks; New York; c. 1930;ink and watercolor on board;10 x 15". Courtesy family ofthe artist

UR

ES

FLASH & FLASHBACKS:THE ENDURING ART OF TATTOO Michael McCabe

34

JAMES OSBORN(E): MAINE FOLK PAINTER Arthur and Sybil Kern

42

ELIJAH PIERCE AND JAMES HAMPTON: ONE GOOD BOOK BEGETS ANOTHER Lynda Roscoe Hartigan 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. Prior to Fall 1992, Volume 17, Number 3,Folk Art was published as The Clarion. Annual subscription rate for members is included in membership dues. Copies are mailed to all members. Single copy $6.00. Published and copyright 1994 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 responsibility for misunderstandings that may arise from the purchase or sale of objects or services advertised in its pages. The Museum is dedicated to the exhibition and interpretation of folk art and feels it is a violation of its principles to be involved in or to appear to be involved in the sale of works of art. For this reason, the Museum will not knowingly accept advertisements for Folk Art that illustrate or describe objects that have been exhibited at the Museum within one year of placing an advertisement.

52

DEPARTMENTS

EDITOR'S COLUMN

DIRECTOR'S LETTER

13

MINIATURES

16

BOOK REVIEWS

24

TRUSTEES/DONORS

59

MUSEUM NEWS

66

TRAVELING EXHIBITIONS

71

SUMMER PROGRAMS

71

MUSEUM REPRODUCTIONS PROGRAM

77

INDEX TO ADVERTISERS

80

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 5


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Top quilt: Extraordinary Pictorial Crazy Quilt • signed and dated July 20, 1891 Emma Finz • New York State origin • mint condition • 84 x 59" Bottom Quilt: Unusual Mini Pieced Crazy Quilt • signed and dated 1888 • "E.B." in center block • Lancaster, Pennsylvania origin • 58 x 90"

An extensive collection of 19th and 20th century quilts and textiles with a large selection of country painted furnishings and folk art at two locations. LEWIS KEISTER ANTIQUES 209 Market Street Lewisburg,PA 17837 (717) 523-3945 Monday - Saturday 11:00 to 5:00

EAST MEETS WEST ANTIQUES We Ship Nationwide Visa • Mastercard American Express

658 North Larchmont Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90004 (213) 461-1389 fax (213)461-4207 Monday - Saturday 10:00 to 6:00


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THE TARTT GALLERY photo credit: Lisa Berg

2017 Que Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 20009 Fax: 202-797-9853 202-332-5652 Tel:


EDITOR 'S

COLUMN

ROSEMARY GABRIEL

he Museum's Spring/Summer season has begun and the galleries are resplendent with twenty outstanding quilts. The exhibition "New York Beauties: Quilts from the Empire State" is the culmination of over four years of work by New York Quilt Project volunteers who have located and documented more than six thousand quilts made in New York from the eighteenth century through 1940. The exhibition will be on view through September 11, and is accompanied by a 150-page, fully illustrated book written by Jacqueline M. Atkins and Phyllis A. Tepper. The Museum's programming, geared especially to quilt enthusiasts, includes lectures and workshops; see Summer Programs in this issue's Museum News. Flash art, the sketches used by tattooers to illustrate and advertise their designs, has recently become one of the greatest areas of interest for art lovers and collectors. Tattoo art has been recognized by the Museum of American Folk Art as a folk expression for over twenty years—in October 1971, the Museum presented the exhibition "Tattoo," organized by Herbert W.Hemphill, Jr. Now, cultural anthropologist Michael McCabe is working on a book of the oral histories of New York City tattooers from the 1920s to the 1960s. His essay "Flash and Flashbacks" is punctuated by captivating images and colorful quotes from veteran tattoo practitioners. Sybil and Arthur Kern have done it again! They have followed their passion and their hunches and doggedly dug through references and records to unearth the art and history of a little-known nineteenthcentury folk painter. In this case their discovery is Maine watercolorist James Osborne. The works chosen by the Kems to illustrate this informative essay include charming family records, sensitive memorial ROSE OF SHARON VARIATION paintings, and a lively and moving Anne Butler Scutt Livingstonville, Albany County record of an historical battle Mid- to late nineteenth century between two warships during the Appliquéd cotton War of 1812. 75 1/2 80" "Elijah Pierce and James Hampton: One Good Book Begets Another," by Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, demonstrates the Bible's influence on the lives and work of two Southern African-American folk artists. According to Hartigan,"Elijah Pierce and James Hampton shifted the Bible's creative inspiration from the written and spoken word to the visual realm, begetting in the process their own versions of the Good Book." Hartigan uses Pierce's carved and painted wood relief, Book of Wood, and Hampton's ink on paper, St. James Book ofthe 7Dispensations, to illustrate her astute understanding of these artists' perceptions of their relationship to God and the preaching of His word through art. I hope you have a lovely summer and enjoy this issue of Folk Art. If you are planning a trip to Manhattan this summer,stop in to see "New York Beauties"—they certainly are, each one of them, a beauty!

T

8 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

FOLK ART

Rosemary Gabriel Editor and Publisher Johnson & Simpson Design and Typography Tanya Heinrich Production Editor Benjamin J. Boyington Copy Editor Marilyn Brechner Advertising Manager Craftsmen Litho Printers MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FOLK ART Administration

Gerard C. Wertkin Director Karen S. Schuster Director ofMuseum Operations Joan M. Walsh Controller Mary Ziegler Administrative Assistant Jeffrey Grand Senior Accountant Gregory 0. Williams Accountant Darren McGill Mailroom and Reception Christopher Giuliano Mailroom and Reception Collections & Exhibitions

Stacy C. Hollander Curator Ann-Marie Reilly Registrar Judith Gluck Steinberg Assistant Registrarl Coordinator, Traveling Exhibitions Margaret Alison Eisendrath Weekend Gallery Manager Gina Bianco Consulting Conservator Elizabeth V. Warren Consulting Curator Howard Lanser Consulting Exhibition Designer Kenneth R. Bing Security Departments Beth Bergin Membership Director Marie S. DiManno Director ofMuseum Shops Susan Flamm Public Relations Director Alice J. Hoffman Director ofLicensing Katie Cochran Director ofDevelopment Janey Fire Photographic Services Chris Cappiello Membership Associate Jennifer A. Waters Development Associate Maryann Warakomski Assistant Director ofLicensing Edith C. Wise Consulting Librarian Eugene P. Sheehy Museum Bibliographer Programs

Lee Kogan Director, Folk Art Institutel Senior Research Fellow Barbara W.Cate Educational Consultant 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 Arlene Hochman Coordinator,DocentPrograms Howard P. Fertig Chairman,Friends Committee

Museum Shop Staff Managers: Dorothy Gargiulo, Caroline Hohenrath, Rita Pollitt; Mail Order: Beverly McCarthy; Coordinator: Diana Robertson; Security: Bienvenido Medina; Volunteers: Marie Anderson, Claudia Andrade, Judy Baker, Marilyn Banks, Olive Bates, Catherine Barreto, Ann Coppinger, Sally Elfant, Sally Frank, Millie Gladstone, Elli Gordon,Inge Graff, Dale Gregory, Edith Gusoff, Bernice Hoffer, Elizabeth Howe, Annette Levande, Arleen Luden, Katie McAuliffe, Nancy Mayer, Theresa Naglack, Leslie Nina,Pk Pancer, Marie Peluso, Judy Rich, Diane Rigo, Frances Rojack, Phyllis Selnick, Myra Shaskan, Lola Silvergleid, Maxine Spiegel, Mary Wamsley, Marion Whitley, Helen Zimmerman

Museum of American Folk Art Book and Gift Shops 62 West 50th Street, New York, NY 10112-1507 212/247-5611 Two Lincoln Square(Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th) New York, NY 10023-6214 212/496-2966


Photograph ofthe Artist's Wife Marie, ca. 1945-50, 8"W x 10"H

MARIE

Masters of American Self-Taught and Outsider Art

RICCO/MARESCA GALLERY 152 WOOSTER STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10012, 212.780.0071, (FAX)212.780.0076


CLEMENTINE HUNTER Funeral, c. 1950's, Oil on board; 12" x 18"

DO NOT STORE UP FOR YOURSELVES TREASURES ON EARTH

BOB SHORT Eternity Lane 1991, Oil on board; 28" x 34"

KURTS BINGHAM GALLERY, MEMPHIS 766 South White Station Road • 38117 • 901/683-6200 • 901/683-6265 fax


AMERICAN PRIMITIVE GALT FRY 594 BROADWAY *205 NEW YORK, NY 10012 212-966-1530

We are pleased to be representing the paintings and sculpture of Albert Wagner. The 70 year old self taught artist and preacher has created a compelling body of art in the past 20 years. We will be exhibiting his sculpture in our Fall show — ASSEMBLAGES along with other noted self taught artists and antique Folk art. FACES, 36" x 36"

REV. ALBERT WAGNER Paintings of moral and spiritual redemption and the Afro American struggle

WORKS AVAILABLE BY: Rene Latour Clyde Angel Charlie Lucas TB. Armstrong Theodore Ludwiczak Jim Bauer John R. Mason Bolden Hawkins Willie Massey Mary Borkowski Raymond Materson Richard Burnside R.A. Miller Buzz Busby Max Romain Charles Butler Mary T. Smith David Butler Lee Steen Henry Ray Clark Jimmy Lee Sudduth Raymond Coins James "Son" Thomas Thornton Dial Sr. Mose Tolliver Howard Finster Terry Turrell Oskar Gilchrist Willie White Lonnie Holley James Harold Jennings Anthony Yoder Kurt Zimmerman CITY SLICKER, 14" x 16"


Major Works byEDDIE ARNING SAM DOYLE WILLIAM EDMONDSON HOWARD FINSTER WILLIAM 0. GOLDING WILLIAM HAWKINS FRANK JONES PHILADELPHIA WIREMAN HORACE PIPPIN MARTIN RAMIREZ BILL TRAYLOR P.M. WENTWORTH ADOLF WOLFLI JOSEPH YOAKUM

Elijah Pierce Palm Sunday c.1942 carved polychromed wood 121/2"x 10"x 51,2"

PURVIS YOUNG

Janet Fleisher GALLERY 211 South 17th Street PHILADELPHIA 1 9 1 0 3 (215)545.7562/7589


DIRECTOR'S

LETTER

GERARD C. WERTK1N

he Museum lost one of its dearest and most valued friends last February when Theodore L. Kesselman died following a courageous battle with leukemia. Ted was elected to the Museum's Board of Trustees in 1983 after a year or two of participation on the Development Advisory Committee. Shortly after his election he was also appointed to the Executive Committee. He served with dedication and distinction as a Trustee and committee member until the end of his life. I still find myself referring to notes from my final conversation with him just a week or so prior to his death. Ted Kesselman brought to his service as a Trustee a caring commitment to the Museum and a highly principled approach to planning and problem solving. An executive vice president of Bankers Trust Company prior to his retirement, Ted was an accomplished and able businessman. Ever meticulous in detail, he will be remembered with esteem and affection by the entire Museum family for his warmth of spirit and thoughtfulness. On a personal basis, I came to rely heavily on Ted's helpful suggestions and staunch advocacy in addressing challenges facing the Museum, and will miss him immensely. All of us at the Museum mourn with Ted's wife, Shirley, and their family and extend to them our heartfelt condolences. I am proud to report that the Museum's national and international outreach continue to be most impressive. In the last three or four years alone, exhibitions organized by the Museum of American Folk Art have been seen in more than one hundred museums in the United States, as well as in various venues elsewhere in the world. Through the Arts and Embassies program, an exhibition of American folk art from the Museum's collections has now been installed in the official residence of the United States Ambassador to Italy in Rome.I am grateful to Ambassador and Mrs. Reginald Bartholomew and to Ford Motor Company, which provided funds for the publication of a catalog documenting this exhibition. As I have previously reported, Ford is also the national sponsor of the Museum's major touring exhibition,"Visiones del Pueblo: The Folk Art of Latin America." I have just returned from the opening of "Visiones" at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. Over fifteen hundred persons attended the opening reception, including Jane Alexander, Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, and hundreds of participants in an NEA conference then in session in Chicago. This exhibition has been so well received that its tour has been extended to include museums in Denver, Toledo, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. I am immensely grateful to Ford Motor Company for making the exhibition and its extended tour possible. The Museum's national outreach is also evidenced by the wonderful reception to "May I Invite You...," a series of intimate dinner parties and brunches held during the month of May for the benefit of the Museum at the homes of members throughout the country. Although these remarks are being written in April, I have already been gratified by the enthusiastic support of our members. Each host and hostess has offered to provide not only a wonderful meal but also an opportunity for participants to enjoy their exceptional collections of American folk art and other works of art. It is my pleasure to extend my warmest appreciation and the gratitude of the Museum's Board of Trustees and staff to the hosts and hostesses of this Spring benefit:

T

Ted Kesselman 1932-1994

Didi and David Barrett, Anne Hill and Monty Blanchard, Bliss and Brigitte Camochan, Janice and Mickey Cartin, Burton and Helaine Fendelman, Friends of the Museum of American Folk Art, Alice Yelen and Kurt Gitter, T. Marshall Hahn, Jr., Mark and Pria Harmon, Ardis and Robert James, Dr. and Mrs. J. E. Jelinek, Joan and Victor Johnson,Isobel and Harvey Kahn, Allan Katz, John and Ann Oilman, Reverend and Mrs. Alfred R. Shands III, and David and Jane Walentas. I am also gratified by the large number of members who have come forward with offers to host parties in future years. Thank you all for your commitment and support. One of the real pleasures of serving the Museum as Director is the opportunity provided to me to meet so many members and friends of the Museum. Indeed, I am often overwhelmed by the extent of your kindness and generosity. Following my trip to Chicago for the "Visiones" opening,I joined the Museum's Folk Art Explorers' Club for a portion of its tour of Berks County, Pennsylvania. At the historic Ephrata Cloister I enjoyed presenting a lecture to the members of the group on the history and folk arts of the German Seventh-Day Baptists. In Reading, Museum members Herm and Flip Imber were my gracious and genial hosts. The Imbers also generously invited the entire group to dinner at their home,as did Mrs. J. Ripley Fehr and George and Sue Viener. These were only a few highlights of a splendid tour. I invite all members to participate in the Folk Art Explorers' Club, which provides unparalleled opportunities to visit public and private collections throughout the United States and abroad. It is but one of the many special programs available to members of the Museum of American Folk Art. If you are not a member of the Museum,this would be a good time to join. A warm welcome awaits you.

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 13


Gustavo Rosa - Promenade - Oil on Canvas - 1994 - 43 x 47 inches

MAJOR UNITED STATES

EXHIBITION JULY 16 TO AUGUST 21, 1994

Martin & Kitty Jacobs

SPLENDID PEASANTL AMERICAN FOLK ART

Rt. 23, So. Egremont Massachusetts 01258 413-528-5755


Robert Cargo

FOLK ART GALLERY Contemporary Folk Art •Haitian Spirit Flags Southern, Folk, and African-American Quilts

Jimmie Lee Sudduth. Inner Portraits: Women. Mixed media, primarily earth pigments and house paint, on plywood panels. Top: Left to right: 25 x 181/2 inches, 1987; 19 x 151/2, 1988; 181/2x 19, 1987. Middle: 25 x 141/2, 1987; 20 x 141/2, 1986; 25 x 141/2, 1987. Bottom: 17 x 18, 1987; 251/4 x 171/2, 1987; 27 x 141/2, 1987. An exhibition of paintings by Jimmie Lee Sudduth,"Portraits, Real and Imaginary," will be hanging for the next two months. 2413 Sixth Street, Downtown, Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35401 • Home Phone 205-758-8884 Open weekends only and by appointment • Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 2 to 5 p.m.


MINIATURES

COMPILED BY TANYA HEINRICH

LEWIS MILLER Virginia c. 1870s Tintype

Lewis Miller Tokens of Affection "Lewis Miller Recent Acquisitions," at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center at Colonial Williamsburg through November 1994, is a collection of 31 watercolor sketches and personal items providing insight into the 19thcentury artist's personality and private life. Born to German immigrants, Miller(1796-1882), a carpenter, chronicled the world he saw around him during his travels and in his homes in York, Penn., and Christianburg, Va., providing valuable glimpses of a bygone era. The artist's urge to communicate through both drawing and English, German,and Latin writ-

3 7/8 • 2 3/8" Collection of The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, Williamsburg, Virginia

ing was inexhaustible. No scrap of paper—even,in one case, the unprinted margins of a railroad ticket—was too small to be used. The exhibition includes a family record, a tintype of the artist (c. 1870), tokens of affection ascribed for his relatives, and an unusual mourning picture, as well as items reflecting Miller's poetic ability, love of decoration, religious devotion, interest in history, and personal and philosophical views. For more information, call 804/220-7698. MOURNING PAINTING FOR

t The Gallery specializes in the works of contemporary naive, visionary and outsider artists. We also offer an extensive inventory of exceptional 19th & early 20th C. handmade objects including carved canes, tramp art, quilts and whimseys.

ROBERT CRAIG

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(1850-1875)

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Lewis Miller (0

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Folk Art Center, Williamsburg, Virginia

THE

AMES GALLERY

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

16 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

Study Tour in Kansas In'tuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art will host"The Artist in the Kansas Landscape," a study tour of Kansas grassroots art sites and other wonders of the short-grass prairie. Participants in the tour will depart from Chicago's Midway Airport on Saturday morning, October 15, and will return Sunday night, October 16. Sites on the itinerary will include S.P. Dinsmoor's

legendary sculptural environment, The Garden ofEden; Florence Deeble's garden; and The Great Plains Museum of Grassroots Art. For information on the itinerary, price, and reservations, call 312/759-1406 or write to In'tuit, P.O. Box 10040, Chicago,IL 60610.


JOEL AND KATE KOPP BOW TIE AND A SMILE S.L. Jones West Virginia 1983 Carved and painted wood relief 91/2 7"

AMERICA HURRAH 766 MADISON AVENUE NEW YORK NY 10021

Collection of the

re, 212.535.1930 fax 212.249.9718

Huntington Museum of Art, gift of Mr. Robert B. Egelston, 1991

Folk Art at Huntington Museum "By the People: American 19th and 20th Century Art of the Folk and Self-Taught," which opens July 3 at the Huntington Museum of Art in Huntington, W.Va., and will remain on display through October 30, features more than 200 examples of 19th- and 20thcentury American folk art from the museum's permanent collection. The exhibition includes traditional forms such as paintings, drawings, engraved powder horns, quilts, canes, and other personal objects of unusual decorative value. Themes of faith, patriotism, affection toward family and friends, and a simple love In the American Spirit Rare and remarkable objects from the 18th century through the 1950s are on display at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., through September 30."In the American Spirit: Folk Art from the Collections" presents more than 100 objects, including portraits, landscapes, textiles, decoys, weathervanes, samplers, canes, cigar store Indians, furnishings, and other objects from daily life. The purpose of installing these folk art pieces, which are mostly from New England, in a gallery setting is to allow the viewer to see them outside their original contexts, to provide greater visual impact, and to invite

of beauty are clearly present throughout the exhibition. Many objects are the efforts of anonymous artists while others are surprisingly well documented. Noteworthy 19th-century artists in the exhibition include Asa Ames,Sala Bosworth, Susannah Nicholson, and Mahala Dale Wilhait. Among the betterknown 20th-century artists are Minnie and Garland Adkins, Evan Decker, Gerald "Creative" De Prie, Dilmus Hall, the Rev. Herman Hayes, S.L. Jones, and Noah and Charley Kinney. For more information, call the museum at 304/529-2701.

provocative comparisons. The exhibition was organized by Curator of American Decorative Art Dean Lahikainen and is accompanied by an illustrated catalog. A lecture series, which began on May 26 with an introductory presentation by Elizabeth Warren,former curator of the Museum of American Folk Art, will include a talk given by author and collector Arthur Kern on June 23. For more information, call 508/745-1876. PRESENTATION CANE (detail) Artist unknown New Bedford, Massachusetts 1838 Carved wood with ivory handle

NAVAJO FARM SCENE RUG Handspun wools, c. 1930. 95" x 45" Illustrated: "Navajo Pictorial Weavings:' Campbell & Kopp (1991).

FROM OUR EXTENSIVE COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE NATIVE AMERICAN ART

36 1/4" tall Collection of Peabody Essex Museum,Salem, Mass.

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 17


MINIATURES

"Alex" Sandoval (1896-1989)

Adam and Eve with the Angels, woodcarving,900.5",not dated

The gallery is pleased to announce a rare collection of 30 works by Santa Fe folk carver Alejandro "Alex" Sandoval, whose work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of American Folk Art, where it was exhibited in 1985. The artist is also chronicled in the Museum ofAmerican Folk Art Encyclopedia of 20th Century American FOLK ART and ARTISTS.

Summer Exhibitions "Carved in Depth: Elijah Pierce and Leroy Almon, Sr." May 27-June 25 "Joel Lage: Found Objects" July 1-27 "Alex Sandoval" July 29-September 3

LESLIE MUTH GALLERY) Contemporary American Folk Art

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

18 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

Memory and Mourning America's changing attitudes towards death and dying are examined in "Memory and Mourning: American Expressions of Grief," an exhibition mounted by the Strong Museum in Rochester, New York. The exhibit, which opened October 16, 1993, and remains on view through February 1995, explores how Americans have remembered, grieved for, and commemorated the dead since the mid19th century. The specter of death makes many modern-day Americans uncomfortable, as we have fewer ritualized behaviors and social rules to guide us in our grief than our forebears did. In the past, mourning was more conspicuous. Parents frequently had the unhappy task of burying their infants and children, and few adults lived past the age of 50. Gravestones were tall and cemeteries were places for public recreation. Families furnished their homes with reminders of

parted loved ones. And though death was rarely a welcome visitor, it was a familiar one. This exhibit includes nearly 200 objects, most of them from the Strong Museum's Walter Johnson Collection. This rare and important collection chronicles American grieving customs and is composed of postmortem photographs (portraits of children and other family members taken immediately after their deaths), books, colorful wreaths (some intricately woven with hair of the deceased), epitaphs, letters, memorial cards, lithographs, elaborate mourning gowns,jewelry, and advertisements. For more information, call 716/263-2700. UNTITLED TINTYPE (Mother, child in coffin) Anonymous C. 1860-1890 3 15/16 ‘, 4 7/8 with case (not original) Courtesy the Strong Museum, Rochester, New York


JOEL AND KATE KOPP CHRISTOPHER PALMER'S POWDER HORN Lake George School Fort Edward, New York October 24, 1758 Horn, pine, brass,

9

and iron

AMERICA HURRAH 766 MADISON AVENUE NEW YORK NY 10021

tel 212.535.1930 fax 212.249.9718

12 3/4" long Courtesy William H. Guthman

Powder Horns at the Concord Museum The transformation of the most utilitarian of objects into intriguing examples of a uniquely American folk art form is explored in the exhibition "Drums A'beating, Trumpets Sounding: Artistically Carved Powder Horns in the Provincial Manner, 1746-1781," which is on display through November 15 at the Concord Museum in Concord, Mass. Organized by the Connecticut Historical Society and guestcurated by William Guthman, the exhibition features more than 100 engraved powder horns carved throughout the colonies and at frontier outposts. Powder horns, in their simplest form, were the horns of cattle hollowed out to create a portable

container for the gunpowder that a soldier or hunter used to fire his musket or rifle. Decorative carving began to appear on North American powder horns during King George's War(1744-1748) and endured into the first years of the American Revolution, dying out as powder horns were replaced by cartridge boxes. Frequently depicted in intaglio designs and verse are battle scenes, mythical animals,flowers, views of communities and frontier forts, rhyming verse, political cartoons, and patriotic symbols. Delicate, elaborate calligraphy, scrollwork, and abstract decorative motifs are also included on many powder horns. For more information, call 508/369-9609.

Rodney Rosebrook(1900-1994) Rodney Rosebrook, retired cowboy and blacksmith and creator of welded metal assemblages, died on March 5. For many years he collected thousands of objects—barbed wire, glass insulators, lanterns, branding irons, and other old tools and metal objects for his "Old Time Museum," which he arranged and kept in his barn. Objects were hung along the wall of the barn and constructions of welded steel and iron tools set in frames of fence gates and buggy wheels were used as a decorative border surrounding his barn-museum. Rosebrook was born in Masonville, Colorado, and moved to eastern Oregon, where he attended high school. He left

school to work on cattle drives and during that period learned to work iron, to do carpentry, and to work leather. He married in 1931 and settled in Redmond, Oregon. His work was exhibited in "Webfoots and Bunchgrasses: Folk Art of the Oregon Country" (1980); a solo exhibition at Riccoaotmson Gallery, New York (1983); and "Made with Passion: The Hemphill Folk Art Collection in the National Museum of American Art" (1991). He is survived by his wife, Mabel, his children, and his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. —Lee Kogan

PORTRAIT of ABRAHAM LINCOLN Carved and Painted Pine. Dated Feb 3, 1909. Found in New Hampshire. The inscription "Abraham Lincoln" is carved in relief. 2'Illustrated: "Little By Little"(1984). / Height: 171

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 19


EPSTEIN/POWELL Jesse Aaron David Butler Rex Clawson Donavan Durham Mr. Eddy Roy Ferdinand Victor Joseph Gatto (estate) Lonnie Holley Clementine Hunter Howard Ivester S.L. Jones Lawrence Lebduska Charlie Lucas Justin McCarthy Emma Lee Moss Old Ironsides Pry Popeye Reed Max Romain Jack Savitsky Clarence Stringfield Mose Tolliver Floretta Warfel Chief Willey George Williams Luster Willis ...and others

EPSTEIN/POWELL 22 Wooster St., New York, N.Y. 10013 By Appointment(212)226-7316

20 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

MINI

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Lee Godie (1908-1994) Lee Godie, one of Chicago's best-known self-taught painters, died on March 2, 1994, in the Plato Centre home of her daughter, Bonnie Blank, with whom she was reunited six years ago. Godie was noted for her intense portraits of glamorous, wideeyed women, many of which were probably self-portraits, and of handsome men.Prince Charming, or Prince of the City, was based on a postcard reproduction of a Picasso portrait of the ballet master Leonid Massine and The Waiter was another familiar male figure that she painted many times. She also painted birds, leaves, fruit, and flowers. Godie completed several thousand paintings. She frequently embellished them with one or more photographs of herself taken at photo booths in underground stations or dime stores. She used a variety of mediums—tempera, ballpoint pen, crayon, watercolor, and pencil. She sometimes used enlarged tracings of original paintings and pictures from newspapers and magazines in her artwork. Born Emily Godee (pronounced go-day) in Chicago to Gustav and Ella Godee, this widely collected artist and icon of the Chicago cultural scene established her reputation in 1968 on the steps of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where she offered and sold her work to historians such as the late Whitney Halstead, artists such as Ray Yoshida and Roger Brown, students, and passersby.

She lived on and around the streets of Chicago between 1968 and 1980 and sold her artworks on an almost daily basis. Godie's artwork was first exhibited in a 1979 group show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. Her work was also included in "The Cutting Edge: Contemporary American Folk Art" at the Musuem of American Folk Art, New York (1990). The artist had her first solo gallery exhibition at the Carl Hammer Gallery, Chicago (1991), and a 20-year retrospective at the Chicago Cultural Center(1993-1994). One of Godie's Prince Charming paintings is in the Permanent Collection of the Museum of American Folk Art. Godie's life and work have elicited discussion and comment from many sources. Author and folklorist Lisa Stone writes, "With assiduous single-mindedness, Godie has lived her life and made her art successfully, with compromise to nothing—the weather, the art world, or any social conventions. Though some have pondered... her sanity, few would question her impact as an artist in the city. Perhaps as powerful as her paintings, Godie's tenacious originality has continually reminded artists, collectors, and casual observers that life and art can be invented, and not merely emulated." Survivors include her daughter, a sister, four grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren. —Lee Kogan


HENRY DARGER

Detail: Narrowly Escapes Capture..., Side A: Mixed Media on Paper, 24" x 110", c. 1940-1950

CARL HAMMER GALLERY 200 West Superior Street - Chicago, Illinois 60610 - 312.266.8512

DOUBLE

GALLERY

•AMERICAN FOLK ART/VINTAGE DESIGN•

Post Office Box 41645 Los Angeles, CA 90041-0645

HABERDASHERY TRADE SIGN c. Late 19th Century 46" H x 37" L x 12" W New England

By appointment only: (310) 652-5990 We Specialize in Unusual American Folk Art

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 21


Other Artists Include:

SA r4-5

LeRoy Almon Lonnie Holly James Harold Jennings Woodie Long Annie Lucas Charlie Lucas B.F. Perkins Juanita Rogers Bernice Sims Jimmie Lee Sudduth Annie Tolliver Charles Tolliver Mose Tolliver Bill Traylor Derek Webster Willie White

‘000.1.........draospeors•64.4.

MARCIA WEBER / ART OBJECTS,INC. SARAH RAKES,"Fragrant Lilies in a Tiger Vase" Oil on Canvas -31" x 25"

3218 LEXINGTON ROAD•MONTGOMERY,ALABAMA 36106 205 262-5349 FAX 205 288-4042 BY APPOINTMENT

the

american collector, ltd. a gallery of american folk art

noah's ark adam & eve painted wood & metal colin beckett richmond

22 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

r.a. miller • tubby brown billy ray hussey • meaders family melvin & michael crocker • hewell family brown family • lester breininger marie rogers • coloratura petra haas • claudia hopf new england primitive paintings by natalee everett goodman

green mountain village shops main street • manchester center vermont 802 • 362 • 1002


aferie Bonheur Laurie Carmody Since 1980 InternationalFolkArt 9243 Clayton Road St Louis, MO 63124 Ippointment(314)993 9851

Antoine Oleyant, Haiti B.F. Perkins Katarzyna Gawlowa, Poland Juanita Rogers Jack Savitsky Lorenzo Scott Jose Antonio da Silva, Brazil Jimmy Lee Sudduth Horacio Valdez Voodoo Flags & Bottles Fred Webster Malcah Zeldis Woodie Long Sybil Gibson (and, many others)

F.B. Archuleta Janet Munro Milton Bond Canute Caliste, Grenada Brian Dowdall R.A. Miller Mamie Deschillie Amos Ferguson, Bahamas Milton Fletcher Haitian Art & Masters Boscoe Holder, Trinidad Georges Liautaud, Haiti Justin McCarthy Mexican Artifacts Rafael Morla, Dominican Rep.

F

LYNNE INGRAM SOUTHERN FOLK ART

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Amos Ferguson "Mother and Children" 1987

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Contemporary art by the self-taught southern hand By appointment • 174 Rick Road • Milford, NJ 08848 • 908-996-4786 • Fax 908-996-4505

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 23


BOOK

REVIEWS

20th Century American Folk, Self Taught, and Outsider Art: A Resource Guide

Betty-Carol Sellen Published by Neal-Schuman Publishers, Ltd., New York, 1993 462 pages, color and black-andwhite illustrations $90.00

BY THE PEOPLE: 19th AND 20th CENTURY ART OF THE FOLK AND SELF-TAUGHT July 3 — October 30, 1994

HUNTINGTON MUSEUM OF ART HUNTINGTON WV •(304)529-2701

24 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

It was a lucky day when BettyCarol Sellen first became interested in what she refers to as "contemporary, nontraditional folk art." It was lucky because this interest, combined with her training and scholarship as a librarian, has resulted in the book 20th Century American Folk, Self Taught,and Outsider Art: A Resource Guide. This thorough, comprehensive, and well-organized work is an invaluable tool to anyone interested in this field. The book is divided into sections on galleries and art centers. museums, museum exhibitions (after 1989), organizations dedicated to folk art, educational programs, artists, and an extensive bibliography of books, catalogs, periodical articles, newspaper articles, illustrations, and audio and visual materials. It is easy to use, and the amount of material that is included is amazing. The bibliographic section alone is a good reason to own it. The weakest part of the guide is the section on artists. The information tends to be quite general and abbreviated; this section would have profited from a bit more scholarship. Fortunately, this area is well treated in the Museum ofAmerican Folk Art Encyclopedia ofTwentiethCentury Folk Art and Artists, by Chuck and Jan Rosenak. Together, these two books serve as an excellent reference point for the student and scholar of contemporary folk art. Endemic

to the interest in the work of twentieth-century self-taught artists is the problem of keeping up with the growth and expansion of the field; each year brings new artists, major exhibitions, and publications to our attention. Any help in collating and cataloging all this information is important, especially in this relatively new area of study. This encyclopedic work provides that help and affords a good start at building a foundation for research and reference. —Jill Keefe Jill Keefe is a student in the New York University Masters Program in Folk Art Studies and the manager of the Museum ofAmerican Folk Art library.

Sacred Spaces and Other Places: A Guide to Grottos and Sculptural Environments in the Upper Midwest

By Lisa Stone and Jim Zanzi Published by The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Press, 1993 184 pages, black-and-white illustrations $14.95 paperback Many twentieth-century "folk" environment enthusiasts are particularly intrigued by the many sites to be found in the upper Midwest. In the excellent book Sacred Spaces and Other Places: A Guide to Grottos and Sculptural Environments in the Upper Midwest, Lisa Stone and Jim Zanzi not only describe and give detailed directions to numerous grottos, embellished homes,fraternal order lodges, and other "folk" environments in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and South Dakota, but also provide extensive contextual information and present astute comparisons


CLYDE ANGEL QUANTUM BELIEVER and analyses of these works of art and the impulses behind the creation of them. Sacred Spaces and Other Places was conceived as a travel guide based on an art history— travel class entitled "The Artist in the Landscape," which has been offered since 1985 by the authors, with David Monk, at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago(SAIC). The authors believe that the landscape "forms both the backdrop and the context for individual and collective histories to unfold" and that the environments they present here are not only undeniably "sitespecific" but could even be called "life-specific," in that they are "a complex mingling of life and landscape and history." The first part of the book explores grotto environments by three different creators in the upper Midwest: first, Father P.M. Dobberstein's grottos in Wisconsin and Iowa, which brought the grotto art form to the Midwest; then the Dickeyville, Wisconsin, grotto of Father Mathias H. Wernerus; and finally, the grottos created by Father Philip J. Wagner and his assistant, Edmund Rybicki, in Rudolph, Wisconsin. The works of the grotto makers are compared and examined for similarities and differences in approach in order to understand more about the creative impulse behind the environment art form. Of extra interest is a discussion of how Simon Rodia, the builder of the famous Watts Towers, possibly assisted Father Wernerus with his work on the Dickeyville grotto, which further expands the impact of these early grotto creators. The impact of these grottos is traced in the embellished homes and gardens featured in the second part of the book. Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete

Park, the Paul and Matilda Wegner Peace on Earth landscape, Mollie Jenson's Art Exhibit, Herman Rusch's Prairie Moon Museum and Garden, and Frank Oebser's Little Program are all discussed in detail, and four others are presented briefly. The third section of the book, entitled "The Architecture of Mystery," discusses ritual spaces for fraternal organizations and panoramas. Although the authors go into more detail on the intriguing Painted Forest paintings by Ernest Hupeden in Valton, Wisconsin, the treatment of these subjects seems incomplete. The fourth section discusses a few more "artists who encapsulated the idea of 'the artist in the landscape'." The book changes focus abruptly with section five, which consists of two essays reflecting on SAIC and the importance of an early art history instructor there, the notable Helen Gardner (of Art Through the Ages fame). These essays, one by Harold Allen and the other by Robert Loescher, while interesting enough, are only tangentially related to the rest of the book,in that they portray the academic environment that led to the creation of the "Artist in the Landscape" class and therefore to the development of this book. They were obviously written previously for other purposes and appropriated for inclusion in this book. Either the book should have been longer to accommodate expansion of the ideas presented in the third and fourth parts or this fifth section should have been trimmed. The final section of Sacred Spaces and Other Places is a helpful and well-organized site directory. Each work is crossreferenced to the pages in the text where it is discussed,

Silver Man

44" x 20"

THE PARDEE COLLECTION MIDWESTERN FOLK Sz OUTSIDER ART P.O. BOX 2926, IOWA CITY IA 52244 SHERRY PARDEE , 319-337-2500 also representing Anthony Yoder

Rollin Knapp

Emitte Hych

Paul Esparza

Allen Eberle

Oliver Williams

Paul Hein

& others

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 25


Ginger Young

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Southern outsider art, pottery, and canes. By appointment 202.543.0273

• Works by more than four dozen artists, including: Minnie Black Georgia Blizzard Tubby Brown Richard Burnside • BurIon Craig

• •

C • •

Brian Dowdall • Howard Finster

Denzil Goodpaster Lonnie Holley • James Harold Jennings

Anderson Johnson • Woodie Long

Jake McCord • R.A. Miller • Roy Minshew • Jeff Payne • Frank

9

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• •

Pickle • Sarah Rakes • "Prophet" Royal Robertson • Bernice Sims

Shown above: The Star in My Future by Henry Ray Clark, Marker and pen on paper, 22"x 14"

Q.J. Stephenson Jimmie Lee Sudduth • Mose Tolliver Knox Wilkinson Jr. • George Williams

For a free video catalogue or a complete price list please call Ginger Young at 202.543.0273

ANTON HAARDT GALLERY David Butler Thornton Dial Sam Doyle Minnie Evans Howard Finster Sybil Gibson Bessie Harvey Lonnie Holley Clementine Hunter James H.Jennings Calvin Livingston Charlie Lucas R.A. Miller

B.F. Perkins Rhinestone Cowboy Royal Robertson Juanita Rogers Mary T. Smith Henry Speller Jimmy Lee Sudduth "Son" Thomas Annie Tolliver Mose Tolliver Felix Virgous Ben Williams Chuckie Williams

1220 SOUTH HULL STREET MONTGOMERY,ALABAMA 36104 (205)263-5494

26 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART


BOOK

REVIEWS

identified with a small photograph, and located on a map. One of the closing pages of the book—a listing of recommended rest stops—might at first raise eyebrows. Included is a favorite steak house, bar, motel, state park, and a restaurant that promises an unforgettable piece of pie. Once into the spirit of this unexpected addition to the book, one wishes it too could have been expanded to include a few more insider's tips to the area. It is a pleasure and an education to read such a well-written and thoughtfully considered book. Although the authors of Sacred Spaces and Other Places treat their subject matter with respectful scholarly care, they allow themselves to have fun with the material. The visual layout and format of the book are creative and effective, serving only to emphasize the one real fault of the book—the poor reproduction quality of the photographs provided for illustrations. The blackand-white illustrations, which number almost two hundred, range from reproductions of wonderful early postcards and photographs of some of the sites to modern photographs that must have been taken during class field trips. Ironically, the earlier images were reproduced much more effectively than the modern photographs, many of which are very dark and of such poor quality that they do not do justice to either the artworks or this very fine book.

Books of Interest African-American Gardens and Yards in the Rural South, Richard Westmacott, The University of Tennessee Press, 1992, 198 pages, $29.95 softcover. American Naive Paintings, Deborah Chotner, National Gallery of Art in association with Cambridge University Press, 1992,668 pages, $119.00 hardcover.

?t°1

American Self-Taught: Paintings and Drawings by Outsider Artists, Frank Maresca and Roger Ricco with Lyle Rexer, Knopf, 1993, 298 pages, $75.00 hardcover. The Artist Outsider: Creativity and the Boundaries of Culture, Michael D. Hall and Eugene W. Metcalf, Jr., eds., Smithsonian Institution Press, 1994, 350 pages, $26.95 softcover.

September

gi

The Complete Book of Shaker Furniture, Timothy D. Rieman and Jean M. Burks, Abrams, 1993,400 pages, $75.00 hardcover. Earl Cunningham: Painting an American Eden, Robert Hobbs, Abrams, 1994, 144 pages, $39.95 hardcover. Discovering Ellis Ruley: The Story of an American Outsider Artist, Glenn Robert Smith with Robert Kenner, Crown, 1993, 108 pages, $30.00 hardcover.

—Tracy Turner Tracy Turner is a student at the Museum ofAmerican Folk Art's Folk Art Institute. She is also a professional French horn player with a master's degree in musicfrom Yale. Her interest in folk art began when she was in Cooperstown, New York, performing with the Glimmerglass Opera Company.

I ••• 5L. ow* No0.1 11• '‘‘

Minnie Evans: Artist, Charles M. Lovell, Wellington B. Gray Gallery, East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., 1993, 72 pages, $24.50 softcover. (continued on page 72)

23*24*25 PREVIEW PARTY Early Buying * Buffet * Music

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Bring a friend, meet a family member and enjoy the number one source for authentic American & European antiques & decorative arts. Shop with confidence from over 100 top dealers from 38 states who guarantee their antiques. Formal, Classical, Regional & Country Furniture * Fine, Folk & Outsider Art * Silver, Brass & Pewter * Quilts, Linens, Lace & Jewelry * Hooked, Woven & Oriental Rugs * Porcelain, Pottery, Crystal & Glass * Fishing, Hunting & Sporting Gear * Iron, Wicker, Twig & Garden * Photography & Civil War * Toys, Trinkets, Thingamabobs & Much, Much More! For a coniplimentAry brochure with all details about Anlerica South & the Adventure Tour, write Richard E. Kramer & Assoc. 427 Midvale Ave. St. Louis, MO 63130 800-862-1090

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 27


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A JACOB KNIGHT, Circus Comes to Texas, Beard Plans Cookout, oil on canvas, 20 x 27"

ZAK GALLERY folk- outsider • primitive • nail* FEATURING WORKS BY: & Garland Adkins • Stephen Warde Anderson Minnie Fred Ads• Wilson Bigaud • Emille Blondel Carol Bohach • Camille Bombois • Ronnie Copas Rita Hicks Davis • Maria Do Carino • Peter Heard August Jackson • Paula Joerling • S.L. Jones Jacob Knight• Valery Lansky • Michelle Liebowitz Elisee Maclet • Mundoza • Sultan Rogers Fernando Lopes Soares • Edgar Tolson Surfside, FL 33154 Telephone/Facsimile (305)866-8200

CARNIVAL RING TOSS Fabulous original polychrome paint on wood. Anonymous. Circa 1930. 30" h and 19" w. Color photo upon request.

J.E. PORCELLI AMERICAN FOLK ART and AMERICANA

AUGUST JACKSON, Checkers, carved wood, 12 x 18 x 8"

VISIT US AT FOLK FEST '94

28 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

2570 Superior Ave. (6th fl.) Cleveland, Ohio 44114 216 / 932-9087 or 348-1344 By Appointment


F. A. BRADER

:Rirsikorr of

1C01(15

(ie 1000 jijarr

G.Ohio

Rare in-town scene • F.A. Brader • 1885 • pencil on paper • 39"x 26"

DAVID WHEATCROFT 220 East Main Street, Westborough, Massachusetts 01581 508-366-1723


Famous Folk P.O. Box 228 Wigwam Hill West Brookfield, Ma 01585 (508)867-2317 (508)248-6856

Celebrated Folk Artist

DON CADORET "Chicken for Dinner" 20 x 24' Acrylic on canvas 1992-94

Featuring folk heroes

Consignments accepted Originalsfor sale/no prints

IMPORTANT CATALOGUE OF OUTSIDER ARTISTS 140 PAGES PEI IS COVER, 32 COLOR PLATES, 90 HALFTONES.

"a beauttlid as well as scholarly publication... will be used as the standardfin'years to come... I truly admire what the tnirersity Art Museum has accomplished in Baking in the Sun." Aim Oppenheimer,President Folk Art Society of America

"informatii.e, beautifully makes a major contribution to our underclanding ofsouthernfia art and the artists who create these rich worlds." William Ferris, Director Center for the Study ofSouthern Culture The University of Mississippi

BAKING IN THE SUN Visionary huages from the South

30 SUMMER i994 FOLK ART

SEND $30 PLUS $3 HANDLING AND POSTAGE TO: UNIVERSITY ART MUSEUM USL DRAWER 42571, LAFAYETTE, LA. 70504 (318) 231-5326


Clementine Hunter (1887-1988) Collection includes: J.B. Murray, Howard Finster, David Butler, Sam Doyle, Nellie Mae Rowe, Mary T. Smith, Jimmy Sudduth, James "Son" Thomas, Royal Robertson, James Harold Jennings, Mose Tolliver, Lonnie Holley, B.F. Perkins, Luster Willis, Raymond Coins, Charlie Lucas, Junior Lewis, William Dawson, LeRoy Almon, Sr., M.C. 50 Jones, "Artist Chuckie" Williams, Ike Morgan, Herbert Singleton, Burgess Dulaney, Dwight Mackintosh, Sarah Rakes, S.L. Jones, Rhinestone Cowboy and others.

GILLEY8 "Deer Could Hide So Well You Might Not See Them." 11"x15" Oil On Paper Circa 1940

The Finest Selection

Leon Loard Gallery

CALLMY

8750 Florida Blvd. Baton Rouge, LA 70815 (504) 922-9225

2781 Zelda Road Montgomery, AL 36106 1(800)235-6273

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 31


Specializing in 18th and 19th Century Americana

John L. Cromwell Tobacconist Figure, circa 1860. Superb carving detail, in old paint with wonderful mellow patina, 90" tall. ‘merican Paddle Wheel Cover or "Lunette," circa 1825-1860, a unique piece of Americana. See The Magazine Anikul,January, 1991. Bold ihree-dimensional carving, in old paint with gilded eagle, 111" long x 37" high. Wythe County, Virginia, Painted Dower Chest, original (untouched) surface, excellent patina. 27" high x 51-1/2" wide x 22-3/4" deep. See The Magazine Antiques, September, 1982, for discussion of the other 22 then-known examples. Circus Wagon Carving, late 19th century. Design attributed to John Sebastian, carving to Samuel Robb or Peter Breit, pictured p. 154, Index of American Design. Weathered surface, 58" tall on 18" base.

Also featuring an impressive collection of original American Carousel Art. Illustrated brochure with 40 figures. $6.50 prepaid.

111 S. Morris St., PO Box 650 Oxford, MD 21654 (410) 226-5677


American Folk Art Sidney Gecker

Portrait of Mercy Harvell By E.E. Finch Maine Circa 1840 Oil on Canvas 27x 22 inches Original Frame — made & decorated by the Artist

226 West 21st Street, New York, N.Y. 10011 (212) 929-8769 Appointment Suggested

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 On Interstate 80

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

An early 20th century poly-chrome, painted nodding head: carved goat.

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 33


Flash & Flashbacks: The Enduring Ad of Tattoo Percy Waters(publicity shot); Detroit; r. 1920; collection of the author.

MICHAEL McCABE

For some time the practice of tattooing has

been viewed by Western culture as a fringe behavior

*

that is often best ignored—or at least underemphaStella Grossman, wife of the tattoo artist "Deafy"; possibly Coney Island. Brooklyn. New York; c. 1930; collection of the author.

sized. The existence and perseverance of tattooing

in modern life creates a degree of social stress because it flies Stanley Moskowitz (right)and Dick Hyland: Bowery. N.Y.C.; c. /955; ollec non ofthe author.

4 •

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if certain Judeo-Christian beliefs.

in the face of ASV 4 11 16

34 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART


• -""Z•

Mildred Hull on the lap of tattooer Charlie Wagner; unknown woman on right; Bowery, N.Y.C.; C. 1920; collection of the author.


n spite of this, the practice of tattooing has recently gained a tremendous degree of visibility in various areas of modern life, and has invaded the mainstream as an element of pop culture. Different venues for entertainment and information, such as MTV and the afternoon television talk shows (in their search for catchy topical material) have keyed in on the practice's new acceptability. Tattoo art is transcending the perceived socioeconomic barriers and challenging the cliches that surround it; it is no longer thought to be the exclusive property of sailors and miscreants. The current fascination with "outsider art" has fueled the interest in the art of tattooing and the materials used to create this art. There is specific interest in tattoo artists' painted sheets of designs, known in the trade as "flash" (a carnival term meaning "visually grabbing to the public" that was adopted by tattooers). With all of the attention recently focused on tattoo art, many have wondered about the practice's history in modern society, specifically how it

I

developed as a craft and as an art form in the twentieth century. In the broadest sense, tattooing has been a part of the human equation for thousands of years— there is evidence indicating that the practice dates back to before the Neolithic period. Humankind's creative manipulation of the body is believed to include some of its first "cultural" acts. Early peoples labored to define themselves as belonging to specific human groups by deliberately changing the body and investing in it a new significance.' As behaviors became more complex, tattooing was incorporated into developing belief systems that used magic and ritual as an essential element of everyday life. The pain and permanence that is associated with tattooing elevated the social status of the practice, transforming it into a potentially magic act. Rituals that commemorated birth, growth, and death, and delineated the various phases of human life, also used tattooing, and as formalized concepts of community evolved, tattooing came to be used for purposes of identification.

"You've got to have the knowledge, you've got to know how to use the ink."

—Brooklyn Bloc/dc New York City tattooer, Bowery,Sands Street, and Coney Island, 1940s-I950s

With the advent of organized monotheistic faiths, specifically Judaism and later, Christianity, a new "body politic" emerged: the body itself became a new demarcation zone used to separate the old beliefs from the new. In the Book of Leviticus (in the Old Testament), it is stated that "no cuttings or markings should be made upon the flesh." This served to create a taboo that would act to define a new concept of self. Despite Judaic and Christian prohibitions, tattooing continued to exist in the Old World. Soldiers enlisted to fight in the Crusades were known to have been tattooed upon their arrival in the Holy Land. Simple crosses were inscribed on the warriors' bodies as proof that the combatant had actually been a part of the conflict.2 The European expansion of the seventeenth century forced vastly different peoples and cultures together, resulting in a new dynamic. On

FLASH ART Bill Jones New York c. 1940 Ink and watercolor on paper 11

14"

Collection of the author

36 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART


his voyage to the South Pacific, Captain James Cook made contact with several voyager cultures in which tattooing was prevalent. The word "tattoo" (originally "Ta-Tau") was itself "discovered" by Cook in Tahiti and introduced into European vocabularies when he returned home. The term had been derived by the Tahitians from the tapping sound that was produced by the procedure.' As the people of the Old World flirted with the concept of the "noble savage" and toyed with existing European taboos, there emerged among the English and French aristocracies a fleeting fascination with the tattoo habits of the Pacific peoples.4 In a short time, tattooing took root in the maritime culture of Europe. Seafaring was risky business, for the majority of mariners were unable to swim. The stories of the magical attributes attached to tattoos influenced mariners to adopt the practice as protection from the dangers of life at sea. The image of a pig tattooed on a mariner's left instep was thought to protect him from drowning; salt pork, a staple of the

early seafarer's diet, had become symbolic of life. The image of a rooster, a biblical reference to Gabriel hearing the cock crow, tattooed on the right instep was believed to ensure eternal salvation. Sailors pressed into naval military service mixed gunpowder into their tattoo pigment as a protective charm against battle injury and death.' Cultures of confinement, such as penal populations, also adopted tattooing, in an effort to reclaim possession of their bodies. Prisoners developed elaborate symbolic systems emphasizing specific codes and values and incorporated these symbols into their tattoo designs. In the twentieth century, the advent of the modern age resulted in the reorientation of people's lives. Old values and beliefs became obsolete under the pressure of the changing overarching culture. Machines and mass production produced a new economic order. High-speed printing created a sea of words and imagery for an increasingly literate population. Popular culture exploded and urban centers started to develop "Fun

Zones"—areas of concentrated entertainment that catered to the demands of the masses. "It was dark [because of the elevated train]; the sun would come through but it was always dark. A lot of bars. It was loaded with bars and tattoo shops, and everything else. You had pawn shops, lots of pawn shops. You could buy any gold coin for peanuts. Every window was loaded with gold coins and guns. Guns and jewelry, gold coins, watches, loaded with pocket watches—that was in." —Stanley Moskowitz Bowery tattooer, 1940s—I950s, commenting on the Bowery

Chatham Square, on the lower Bowery in New York City, established itself early as a Fun Zone. Throughout the nineteenth century the area had been host to an assortment of entertainment enterprises. Dime museums, penny arcades, and popular theaters were all located in the area, and the large surrounding population provided ready support for these entrepreneurial efforts. Rather than dying away with the coming of the modern age, tattooing reinvented itself and integrated itself into the machine age in Chatham Square. In the late 1890s, Samuel

FLASH ART Ed Smith New York C.1930 Paint on board 10

15"

Collection of the author

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 37


Tattoo machine (squareback "Jonesy"); Bill Jones; N.Y.C.; 1940s; collection of the author. The machine, measuring about three inches square, rests on

O'Reilly, a young tattooer who had previously done his work by hand, modified Thomas Edison's Electric Engraving Pen into the first electric tattooing machine. O'Reilly then opened what is considered the first tattoo parlor in the United States in a barbershop in Chatham Square.6 As a distinctly mechanical practice, tattooing took hold in New York City during the first decade of the twentieth century. The diversity and scale of the New York population supported the fledgling craft. As a large port town, New York attracted sailors from around the globe who gravitated to the city because of the allure of the activities available around Chatham Square and on Sands Street in Brooklyn, where the Navy Yard was located. The overall economy supported a large population of wage earners who patronized businesses in Chatham Square.

the back of the tattooer's hand. The needlebar and tube assembly attaches to the machine (the "iron") and is held as one would hold a pen.

"He [Charlie Wagner] worked in the back of a barbershop underneath a stairway. The stairway led to rented rooms over the barbershop where the men would go for ten cents a night. He tattooed right underneath the stairway, real, real small. He had a sponge and a bucket of water." —Brooklyn Blaclae New York City tattooer, Bowery,Sands Street, and Coney Island, 1940s-1950s

As tattooing took root in Chatham Square, the elements of the craft began to be formalized and an industry combining the art of tattoo with the technology used to apply the designs started to develop. Charlie Wagner, who had apprenticed with O'Reilly, set up shop in Chatham Square. He quickly became noted in the area as a tattooer and producer of equipment for the trade. Lew Alberts, who had worked as a tattooer on Sands Street during this period, is credited with creating some of the first tattoo designs available on sheets of flash. In the early part of the twentieth century, a small entrepreneurial community developed around tattooing.(Among the influences that nurtured commercial tattooing was World War I, for tattooing was most popular among military men.) Popular attractions like dime museums, where heavily tattooed people ("Canvas Backs") performed as oddities, increased the visibility of the practice, making it topical, interesting, and somewhat acceptable.

3$ SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

Over time, the tattoo community continued to expand, and tattooing found a home in most large American cities. Port towns and cities like St. Louis, which hosted large military populations, usually supported more than one tattooer. Individual tattooers come to be identified with the towns they worked in. Noted American tattooer "Cap" Coleman, known for the hat he always wore, worked the navy town of Norfolk, Virginia, throughout the first half of the twentieth century. Bert Grim, historically one of America's most important tattooers, worked St. Louis and the "Pike"—an amusement area near Long Beach, California, which has since been torn down—among other places. Amund Dietzel worked in Milwaukee, Percy Waters in Detroit. Tats Thomas,known for his exaggerated handlebar mustache, worked Chicago. Bob Shaw worked the Texas Panhandle and California. Sailor Jerry Collins worked Honolulu. Various itinerant tattooers traveled the carnival circuits of the country in search of a market.

"In those days you couldn't find out anything. If you asked about equipment they'd say they had it made, or they made their own. Nobody ever said nothin'." —Tattoo Lou New York City tattooer, Sands Street, Coney Island and 48th Street, 1950s

Tattooing continued to take hold and expand in American culture throughout the first part of the twentieth century. Within the tattoo community, there developed values emphasizing individualism, secrecy, and oral tradition. Like the trade guilds of the early part of the Industrial Revolution, the early tattoo commu-

nity tightly controlled the information about the craft. Very little describing the procedure of tattooing was ever written down. Knowledge about the mechanical aspect of the art was passed along by word of mouth. Those who violated the oral tradition or the emphasis on secrecy were ostracized. Valued trade secrets were coveted and controlled by an inner circle of tattooers and became prized information. Personal status in the community could depend upon the degree of information an individual tattooer possessed and how he respected it. Elaborate schemes to trick tattooers out of their closely guarded secrets or to mislead unsuspecting novices intentionally are now an integral component of the trade's rich oral history. Individual tattooers with mechanical aptitude improved the technology of tattooing through experimentation. In the 1940s, Bill Jones, a New York City tattooer and machinist, developed one of the best versions of the tattoo machine. His machine continues to be used today. Improvised technology provided artistic options for the community. Without a properly designed tattoo machine, the art would have been limited artistically and would eventually have faltered and stalled. Design options improved as the machine was improved. A tattooer's success depended on his ability to create vital, engaging designs that stimulated a potential customer. Tattooers in port towns were exposed to the roving members of the maritime community, tattoo designs traveled with the fleets on the flesh of the sailors, and observant port-town tattooers capitalized on the opportunity to enhance their design selection with the resultant influx of artwork. Imagery from Asia gradually worked its way into the vocabulary of tattoo through this maritime connection. Other tattooers experimented with pigment options, exploring the possibilities of including color in their work. Tattoo art's early palette was limited to a few colors: red, green, and black. In time, as safe pigments were discovered, yellows were added. Tattooers who could combine mechanical skill with artistic aptitude tended to succeed.


TATTOO PARLOR ON FIFTY-THIRD STREET FLASH ART (1T) Sailor Jerry Collins

All that is lacking in the tattoo parlor realistically set up in the Museum ofAmerican Folk Art, oneflight up at 49

Date unknown Ink and watercolor on paper 10

14"

Photo courtesy of

West 53rd Street, is the self-styled `professor' who used to officiate in the painful, if often rewarding, art of body decoration." Thus began the review ofthe exhibition "Tattoo"

Janet Fleisher Gallery, Philadelphia

by Sanka Knox(from an unidentified newspaper clipping in the Museum's archives). This exhibit, organized by Herbert W.Hemphill,Jr., opened on October 4,1971,and ran through January 9, 1972. Ninety objects were listed in the exhibition checklist, including tattoo drawings (flash art) by tattoo artists A. B. Coleman,Jack Red Cloud, Texas Bob Wicks, Buddy Mott, G. Nelson,Jerry Collins, Ed Hardy, and others; two late nineteenth-century tattooer's sketchbooks; sketchbooksfrom 1900 through 1914; three tattoo sketchesfrom the sketchbook of!. E. Reiquer(c. 1870); and the sketchbook of C. H. Fellowes, an itinerant nineteenth-century master tattooer. Also on view were painted tattooer's trade signs and other contextual material, including a tattooer's chair, needles,pigmentjars, and equipment,as well as paintings and prints depicting ancient tattooing practices from many cultures, and photographs of tattooers at work and of theirfinished products—tattooed persons, including "Prince" Constantine, "The Human Picture Gallery." "TATTOO," continued Knox, "is blazoned in large letters on the street parlor window,apprising the public of the museum's newest exhibition, a divertissement that explores the American way with the art in its 19th-century heyday and its practitioners.... With the opening ofthe show, the Pyne Press ofPrinceton published the contents ofthe rare sketchbook[The Tattoo Book, by C.H. Fellowes] with 'A Short History of the Strange Custom of Tattooing' by William C. Sturtevant, curator ofthe department ofanthropology ofthe Smithsonian Institution."

FLASH ART (9K) Sailor Jerry Collins

Over twenty years ago the Museum ofAmerican Folk Art recognized tattooing asfolk art with roots as deep

1949 Ink and watercolor on paper 10

and an expression asfull as any other. Today, many museums,art institutions, and prominent galleries have added

14"

Photo courtesy of

tattoo drawings (flash art) to their holdings, and art lovers

Janet Fleisher Gallery, Philadelphia

and collectors are becoming more and more interested in this vital and exciting artform.

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 39


FLASH ART Bob Wicks New York C. 1930 Ink and watercolor on ROSercT K. WICKS TATTOO MASTER-

board 10 x 15" Courtesy family of the artist

"It was all Army, Navy, patriotic stuff. Darker tattoos, filled In more. Tattoos had a purpose in them days. The patriotic stuff, that was their purpose, to show patriotism. Or love of their wives, girlfriends. Remembrances." —Stanley Moskowitz New York City tattooer, Bowery, 1940s-1950s

The designs of early tattooing are grounded in a masculine, maritime, combatant culture. There is an economy to the message that contributes to a design's success. The flash sheets found on the walls of tattoo shops are distilled collections of images that have "worked" successfully through time. Essential variations of Christian motifs, daggers, dragons, eagles, black panthers, and the obligatory heart and banner have been a part of the semiotic of tattoo for a very long time. The designs are just as popular today as they were a hundred years ago. The legacy of tattoo art weighs heavily on the development of the graphic art used in its vocabulary of form. The techniques used to apply a tattoo to the body dictate which kind of design will succeed. When applying a tattoo, the tattooer must follow a logical progression, starting with

40 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

the outline and progressing through black shading into coloring. This is why tattoo designs seem so preoccupied with outline. Without a solid outline, a tattoo will not hold up technically; the colors will lose their impact without the contrast of the outline. A bold outline makes the tattoo "pop." The instability of early color pigments forced early tattooers to rely on their outlines, and older tattoo designs are characterized by their heavy outline. For the most part, colors faded easily and quickly; if the outline survived, however, the tattoo would not be a total loss.

'Years ago when you passed a tattoo shop you knew within a block if the guy knew what he was doing. You heard those machines going. Within another block you'd smell the tattoo shop, you'd actually smell it the distinct fragrance of antiseptic soap]. After you left a tattoo shop, the smell would stay in your nostrils for the rest of the day. Nothin' would drive the smell out." —Coney Island Freddie New York City tattooer, Coney Island. 1950s

Early tattooers used a lot of black in their tattoos. Delicate and bold shading techniques were used to create depth to substitute for the absence of

reliable colors. To reproduce this shaded look on a sheet of flash, adept tattooers developed a technique known as "spit shading." In this technique, the artist would use two brushes when painting their design sheets, one dipped in ink for the straight black shade, the other "dipped" in his mouth to pick up saliva (which served as a toner) to create gradations of the black, indicating depth. Without spit shading, the designs on a sheet of flash would not accurately represent what the tattoo was going to look like. Tattoo designs tended to be barometers for the visual trends of their times. Popular images, filtered through society, eventually found their way to the walls of tattoo shops, where their appeal could be used to turn a profit. Cultural image generators like Hollywood, print advertising, and newspaper comics became sources for the images used in this expanding art form. A successful tattooer had to be sensitive to the surrounding visual culture; Mickey Mouse, for instance, found his way into the vocabulary of tattoo very early in his career.


FLASH ART "Cap" Coleman Norfolk, Virginia c. 1930 Ink and watercolor on paper 11

14"

Collection of the author

The designs of the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, climaxing with the tattoo images of World War II, are considered by the tattoo community to represent the classic examples of the art. All of the complex elements of the art generally coalesced during this period to create some of the best examples of technology and graphic design. Individual tattooers used their skills to explore the technical and aesthetic options that were characterized by the historical context in which they lived. Individual examples that stretch the dimensions of the core period in both directions certainly exist, but the flash from this period typifies the classic aesthetic. The art of tattoo has only recently gained recognition as a "popular" art form with an important oral and material history. For a variety of reasons, tattooing refused to fade away with the coming of the modern age. Rather, it reinvented itself and adapted to the demands of modern times, echoing an ancient and complex demand. Working outside the cultural mainstream, tattoo artists and craftspeople developed their technology and imagery over

time in a society that was increasingly providing a foothold for new cultural forms. As an art form of power and vitality, tattooing provided an option for many persons to participate in their emerging culture.* Michael McCabe is a cultural anthropologist who has been exploring the history oftattooing in New York Cityfor over a decade. He is currently working on a book oforal histories ofNew York City tattooersfrom the 1920s to the 1960s. The book will be published in 1995. NOTES

1 Michael Thevoz,The Painted Body (New York: Rizzoli International Publishing Inc., 1984), pp. 23-59. 2 The pilgrimage tattoos of today's Coptic Christians of the Middle East and northern Africa are descendant of the early tattooing of the Crusades. See W.D. Hambly, The History ofTattooing and its Significance(London: H.F. & G. Witherby, 1925), p. 75. 3 Tricia Allen,"European Explorers and Marquesian Tattooing: The Wildest Island Style," Tattootime: Art From The Heart,Vol. 5, 1991, p. 87. 4 Ibid. p. 88. 5 Albert Parry, Tattoo: Secrets ofa Strange Art(New York: Collier Books, 1933), p. 79.

6 Information regarding O'Reilly's shop is a part of the oral history surrounding tattooing.

OF SPECIAL INTEREST TODAY An exhibit displaying American tattoo designs— "Flash

from the Past: Classic American Tattoo Designs 1880-1965," at the Hertzberg Museum,210 Market Street, San Antonio, Texas,78205, May through November, 1994. Accompanying catalog published by Hardy Marks Publications. Upcoming book detailing the life and work of an American tattooer—Sailor

Jerry Collins: American Tattoo Master, by D.E. Hardy(Hardy Marks Publications, Honolulu, Hawaii), available June 1994. Tattoo Memorabilia and Collectibles—

Tattoo Archive, 2804 San Pablo Avenue, Berkeley, California, 94702, C.W. Eldridge, owner/operator. Tattoo museum—Philadelphia Eddie's United Tattoo Museum,3216 Kensington Avenue,Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19134.

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 41


hile visiting the Maine Historical Society Museum at Portland in 1989, we were fascinated by two new acquisitions of wonderful naive watercolors signed "James Osborne." Unfamiliar with this artist, and impressed by his paintings, we decided to do an in-depth study of the man and his work. The two watercolors that were the stimulus for this were family records. One, for Samuel and Lydia Libby, employs a motif seen in many family records of the period: a pair of central pillars joined at the top by an arch with a figure of the sun above, genealogical data between the pillars, and full-length standing representations of the family members on either side. Below the arch is a poem that reflects the idyllic family relationship. Inscribed in the bottom margin, at right, are the words "Drawn by James Osborne Portland. 1830," One unusual feature of this painting is the identification of each of the children by means of a small letter, corresponding to the first letter of the child's given name,

W

James Osborn(e) MaineFolk Painter ARTHUR AND SYBIL KERN placed just above the head. Another, not commonly seen in family records, is the alignment of the females on one side and the males on the other. Family members stand on a stagelike structure along the periphery of which runs a low fence. In the foreground, which has been executed in miniature, are farm buildings, including a barn with rooster weathervane, a well, and trees; a thin, dark, undulating band runs along the lower border. In the background are a tombstone, urn, and willow tree, all of which were commonly employed death symbols in nineteenth-century family records. They are undoubtedly included here in remembrance of Samuel and Lydia Libby's fifth child, who was born on January 5, 1803, and died, unnamed, that same day.' The artist's fine handling of color—brown, black, white, gray, and green, with a few highlights in red—is in contrast to his inability to properly depict his subjects' feet, the result of which is that they appear to be standing on their tiptoes. The heads of the family members are all painted in a flat, uniform manner, with little modeling; each is cone-shaped, wider and round at the top and coming down to a point at the chin. In addition, each has disproportionately small lips. Not only do the faces of the women duplicate one another, but there is little difference between them and those of the men. A darker shadowing is generally present along the periphery of the subjects' clothing. In contrast to the apparent lack of concern with facial detail, the clothing shows considerable variation. This, however, is not surprising considering that what we are seeing are not true portraits. The figures depicted are

42 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART


FAMILY RECORD OF SAMUEL AND LYDIA LIBBY 1830 Watercolor and ink on paper 16

23 1/2"

Collection of the Maine Historical Society Inscribed "Drawn by James Osborne Portland. 1830."

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 43


probably not based on the actual Libby family—most likely, no one actually sat for the artist—but rather are generic, their gender indicated by their clothing, in accordance with the family makeup. The identification of each of the subjects by a code letter substantiates this theory. The Libby farmhouse, and its connecting sheds, well, and barn with its prominent rooster weathervane, however, are shown in a more realistic way. The oversized depiction of the weathervane signifies its importance. The Libby family can be traced back to John Libby, who was born in England about 1602. He moved in 1630 to Scarborough, Maine, where his son, Henry, was born in 1647. Henry married Honor Hudson of Scarborough, and their son, Samuel, was born in 1689. In 1739, Samuel married Mary Jones as his second wife and their son, Ebenezer, was born in Scarborough one year later. Ebenezer settled in the Pleasant Hill section of Scarborough and married Miriam Larrabee in 1767, with whom he had eight children between 1768 and 1786.2

of-mouth recommendation was probably responsible for Osborne's receiving the commission. William Thompson, a sea captain born at Scarborough in 1797, married Rhoda Libby on September 19, 1819. His home was on Oak Hill in Scarborough. He died there in 1849 at the age of fifty-two; Rhoda died in nearby Portland in June 1876, aged eighty-four years! The Thompson and Libby records are stylistically very similar. In both there are two central columns joined at the top by an arch. One difference is that the former bears the word "GENEALOGY," while the latter is inscribed "FAMILY RECORD." As in the Libby record, the genealogical data for the Thompson family is neatly printed in the space between the pillars and the figures appear on a raised area. The Thompson family is separated from their background not by a fence, but by brown bands on each side and an undulating green band at the bottom. As in the Libby record, there is little difference in the facial features of each person, while there is considerable variaGENEALOGY OF WILLIAM AND RHODA THOMPSON 1831 Watercolor and ink on paper 11 5/8

15 1/2"

Collection of the Maine Historical Society 7.t..accIA 7.818-rs• N.

Inscribed "Drawn by James Osborne. 1831"

JOMIN.

, 1 a • 14 10 :8

Their eldest child, Samuel, born April 12, 1768, was a thrifty and well-to-do farmer who also served as town treasurer and "proprietor's clerk." On June 10, 1794, he married Lydia Fogg, daughter of Moses and Catherine Libby Fogg of Scarborough. At about this time, Samuel took up residence in the Scarborough homestead of his great-grandfather, John Jones, where he lived until his death in 1851. Between 1795 and 1804, Samuel and Lydia had six children, one of whom was stillborn. Each of the surviving children married another member of the Libby family. Hannah, the fourth child, vowed that she would not marry a Libby, but was only partially successful in this respect: her husband was Solomon Bragdon, the son of Olive Libby Bragdon.3 The second of the two naive watercolors that so captivated us was a family record for William and Rhoda Thompson, signed "Drawn by James Osborne. 1831," in the bottom margin, at right. Rhoda was a Libby, so word-

44

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

tion in the details of clothing, with dark shadowing along peripheral areas. Once again we have a view of the family home and surrounding trees, with color used in a masterful way. The stylistic characteristics of these records are repeated in the Osborne paintings that later came to our attention. One new element is the small figure of an angel floating in a cloud above the center of the arch; it holds a horn in one hand and what appears to be a scale in the other. Such a symbol was often used to represent the loss of a family member, but there is no indication here as to the identity of the departed relative. The city of Portland had yet another bit of excitement in store for us. On visiting the Portland Museum of Art, we came upon a charming painting that, although unsigned and very different in format from the two previously described watercolors, was obviously from the hand of James Osborne. The central columns and arch are here replaced by a tablelike structure with pedestal legs.


(below) SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF MRS SARAH H. STICKNEY Undated and unsigned Watercolor and ink on paper 13

17 1/8"

Collection of the Portland Museum of Art, gift of Anita and Charles

The stone slab that forms the top is tilted so as to enable the viewer to read the inscription it bears: "Sacred/to the Memory of." The message, which is interrupted by the words "MEMENTO MORI" on the edge of the slab, continues below: "Mrs Sarah H. Stickney/only daughter of Mr Joseph/and Mrs Margery Hale,/She was born in Newbury/port (Mass) April 27th./1803. And died in Port/land (Me.)June 25'. 1827." Appropriate to the fact that this is a mourning picture are the symbolic small angel, willow tree, and urn. The bereaved husband, carrying his youngest child in his right arm and holding his son's hand with his left, stands in front of the memorial structure. In both foreground and background there are many houses, the largest of which probably represents the Stickney residence. An interesting structure topped by a weathervane, clock, and bell tower is shown in the left foreground. Finally, this is the first and only Osborne Portland painting in which—due to the inclusion of a

we know Osborne was active in the Portland area. The later discovery of an 1827 painting suggests that it was probably done closer to that date. In going through the catalog of the Karolik collection of watercolors and drawings,' we discovered a second mourning picture: an undated memorial for Nancy Bonney signed "J.!Osborn"(note that the surname is here spelled without an "e," the reason for which we could only speculate about). Like the Libby family record, this painting includes a poem, this time written just above the title, "NANCY BONNEY." The narrow decorative border, done in ink and surrounding the picture and the text, is an unusual feature of this memorial. As in both the Thompson genealogy and the Stickney memorial, a winged angel holding a horn floats overhead in a cloud. As in the Stickney memorial, a prominent willow tree and memorial urn, also death symbols, are present. The large departing boat in the background is also a symbol of death.

lighthouse and sailing ships—it is obvious that we are looking at a port town. Sarah Hale married Henry Rolfe Stickney in Newburyport on September 14, 1822. Her husband was a grocer from 1823 to 1827. On May 31, 1827, Sarah gave birth to her second child, Sarah Hale Stickney, who died about three months later, on September 6. Five days later, this death was reported in a Portland weekly newspaper, the Eastern Argus: "...in town on Thursday morning last, Sarah Hale, youngest child of Mr. Henry R. Stickney, aged 3 months." The mother, predeceasing her child, had died in Portland on June 25, 1827, probably due to complications from the delivery.' In contrast to the Libby and Thompson paintings, which are signed and dated, the Stickney memorial carries no inscription. Nevertheless, it can be attributed to James Osborne on the basis of its stylistic similarity to his signed works. Although Sarah Hale Stickney died in June 1827, her memorial may not have been painted until 1830, when

The figures of a woman and a girl are shown in full face, with no shading or features other than hairstyle to distinguish one from the other. In general, this painting is somewhat simpler than the others we had thus far seen, and this led us to believe that it might be his earliest work. In the absence of a Bonney family genealogy, we could not be certain as to which of the two figures in the memorial was the departed Nancy Bonney. The fact that the child holds a drooping flower, a commonly employed death symbol in nineteenth-century paintings, suggests that it was she. In addition, reference in the inscribed poem to the departed one as a "Sweet Girl" would be more appropriately applied to a child than to an adult. Finally, significant and exciting information later uncovered (and discussed later in this article) points to a most meaningful relationship between Nancy Bonney and James Osborn(e). On the basis of this, we can now assume with reasonable certainty that the memorial was for the youngster rather than for the adult.

Stickney, 1987

(above right) MEMORIAL FOR NANCY BONNEY Undated Watercolor and ink on paper 9 15/16

8 1/8-

M. & M. Karolik Collection, courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Signed ".1! Osborn" Inscribed with poem: "0 Say Sweet Girl thus doomed to part thy friend shall ever cheerful be/for ah this faithful wounded heart still beats with tenderest love for thee."

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 45


Our review of publications likely to contain references to little-known nineteenth-century folk artists led to the discovery of another Osborne watercolor, one very different from those with which we were already familiar. In the catalog of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center's collection of American folk paintings we found a picture of his rendering of the battle between the American sloop Wasp and the British brig Frolic, probably based on one of the numerous prints portraying this important War of 1812 battle.' The title of the painting, WASP and FROLIC, is inscribed in large letters in the center of the bottom margin; inscribed at the far right is "Drawn by J. Osborne. 1832." After a forty-three-minute battle, with extremely heavy firing and marked damage to both ships, the Frolic was boarded and her captain surrendered. James Fenimore Cooper has pointed out that this was the first battle between vessels of equal force during the War of 1812, and was extremely important in dispelling the previously held view of British naval invincibility and buoying up the self-confidence of the young American republic.' The Wasp was commanded by Captain Jacob Jones. Samuel Libby's great-grandfather was John Jones. Although we have no proof as yet, one may speculate as to whether John Jones was related to Captain Jacob Jones. If so, Samuel Libby may have commissioned this painting because of family ties. About one year after the visit to the Maine Historical Society, an exciting letter from Nan Cumming, the society's curator of museum collections, informed us of her discovery in their collection of another small watercolor by James Osborne. This painting depicts the British ship Boxer in battle with the American vessel Enterprise. Stylistically identical to the WASP and FROLIC, this work is inscribed "BOXER and ENTERPRIZE [sic]" in large letters in the center of the bottom margin and "J.0. 1831." at the far right. The Enterprise, a U.S. Navy cruiser, left Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on September 1, 1813, and two days later proceeded to the Portland area in chase of a schooner. Here it engaged the Boxer, a vessel of the same size. After a fierce battle in which both ships sustained considerable damage, the Boxer struck its colors. The victory of the Enterprise, like that of the Wasp, helped restore the confidence of the American public.' An April 1992 visit to the Gallery at Bristol-MyersSquibb in Princeton, New Jersey, brought to our attention another Osborne painting: a watercolor-and-ink rendering of the Hatch family "genealogy," inscribed "Drawn by J. Osborne. 1832" in the bottom margin, at right. As in the Thompson record, the central image is the pillar-and-arch construction bearing the word "GENEALOGY." However, in place of the hovering angel, here we find the sun figure observed in the Libby family record. Between the pillars is genealogical information relating to the family of Joseph and Abigail Hatch. The death of their second child, Sophia, is symbolized by the willow tree. Also as in the Thompson record, the family members are placed centrally, in front of the arch. In this instance, however, they are all seated around a long table on which there are plates of food and other objects.

48 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

Joseph Hatch sits at one end of the table, reading from a book, while his wife is seated at the other end, with the youngest child, Harriet, in her lap. Surprisingly, Sophia, who had died in 1814 at about seven months of age, is shown as she might have looked had she been living at the time the painting was done. In this, one of Osborne's latest known works, the artist seems to be somewhat more successful in presenting the family members as individuals, rather than as his usual stock figures. The 1820 and 1830 Maine Census Indexes each list a Joseph Hatch and family living in Cape Elizabeth, Cumberland County, only a few miles from Portland. A copy of the marriage record of Joseph Hatch and Abigail Wallace, both of Cape Elizabeth, found at the State Archives in Augusta, indicates that their marriage took place on July 18, 1811. The same source also has records of the births of all the Hatch children, except Sophia. The absence of a record for Sophia may be a reflection of the custom, due to the high infant-mortality rate, of not reporting a birth until the child had survived to a certain age. The chain of events leading to our discovery of five more Osborne paintings started when David Schorsch, a dealer in American folk art, mentioned to a mutual friend that he had just obtained some works by this littleknown painter. After being told of our interest in Osborne, he contacted us and not only showed us the three he had, but also put us on the path to two others. One of the three he owned was a second version of the battle between the Boxer and the Enterprise. This differs from the rendering owned by the Maine Historical Society in that the Enterprise is here headed in the opposite direction; in addition, whereas the American ship appears unscathed in the first version, it now shows a number of holes in its sails. Otherwise, the two versions are essentially the same. This version is undated and inscribed "The BOXER and ENTERPRIZE [sic]" in the center of the bottom margin and signed "by J. Osborne." at the right. The backing board bears the ink inscription "Eben Libby 1831" and has a typewritten label that reads "Eben S. Libby Homestead, Scarboro." The backing board's inscription suggests that the painting was owned in 1831 by Ebenezer Libby, the son of Samuel. Ebenezer was married in Scarborough on October 9, 1831, and the painting may have been given to him as a wedding present. The typed label indicates that it later passed from Ebenezer to his son, Ebenezer Scott, who was born on October 12, 1848.'" While many of these paintings treat the same subjects as those discussed above, one, although stylistically similar, is very different from all of Osborne's other known watercolors. It depicts a standing man holding an

While many of these paintings treat the same subject as those discussed above, one, although stylistically similar, is very different...

JOSEPH AND ABIGAIL HATCH FAMILY RECORD 1832 Watercolor and ink on paper 14 1/4

18 1/4"

Collection of Susan and Raymond Egan Inscribed "Drawn by J. Osborne. 1832"

THE BOXER AND ENTERPRIZE Undated Watercolor and ink on paper 91/s"

7

Collection of Arthur and Sybil Kern Signed "by J. Osborne"


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SUMMER 994 FOLK ART 47


ax in his left hand and resting his right hand on a large coat of arms. On top of the coat of arms is a plowshare, and in the compartments that make up the interior of the coat of arms are a large sheaf of hay and the tools a farmer would use in his daily work. The man wears a fine cap and clothing of the type that a well-to-do farmer such as Samuel Libby might have worn when engaged in social activities. Appropriately titled "FARMERS ARMS" in the center of the bottom margin," the work is signed "J. Osborne. 1831- "at the far right. As was the case for the BOXER and ENTERPRIZE, the backing board of this work is signed "Eben Libby 1831" in ink and has an attached typewritten label that reads "Eben S. Libby Homestead, Scarboro." The third of Schorsch's watercolors, painted in the typical Osborne style, depicts a finely dressed man and woman standing in front of a house. They are in a somewhat romantic pose—his left arm is extended across her upper back and his hand is resting on her left shoulder. The love interest is further suggested by the inclusion of two birds, one in the woman's hand, the other on the branch of an adjacent tree. The painting is not titled, but it is signed "J. Osborne. 1830" in the bottom margin, at right. On the backing board are two pencil inscriptions: "Hannah Libby and Mr. Plante" and, in another hand, "PLANTE." A typewritten label attached to the backing board reads "Eben S. Libby Homestead,Scarboro." It is likely that Hannah is the fourth child of Samuel and Lydia Fogg Libby. Born in 1800, she would have been thirty years of age when the painting was done. "Mr. Plante," we believe, is the John Plant mentioned in the diary entry of Samuel Libby for July 1 and 2, 1829: "Mr. John Plant is here sick."" The fact that John Plant was staying in the Libby home during this illness, and the romantic pairing of the two in the painting, points to a close relationship between them and the likelihood of their upcoming marriage. However, this was not to be. According to the 1830 Maine Census, one John Plant, between twenty and thirty years of age, and not married, was living in Baldwin, about twenty miles from Scarborough; he is not listed in the 1840 or 1850 census." This, coupled with Samuel Libby's diary entry concerning Plant's need to stay in someone else's home during his illness, suggests the possibility of his imminent death. In fact, Hannah Libby was not wed until March 4, 1843, when she married Solomon Bragdon." The fourth work, Mother and Three Children, inscribed "Drawn by .1! Osborne. 1831." in the bottom margin, at right, carries no other inscriptions or clues as to its specific nature. Depicted are a mother holding a baby, a daughter, and a son with a hoop, all appearing to be on tiptoe. Also shown are the family home and the typical trees and fences, all on a stagelilce setting, along with the other stylistic characteristics of Osborne's paintings. An additional noteworthy feature, not quite as obvious in his other works, is the disproportionately large size of the adult as compared to that of the children, a reflection of the considered relative importance. The final painting of this group, a record for the family of Captain S. B. and Octavia A.(Dyer) Angel is of particular interest for a number of reasons. The inscription

48 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

in the bottom margin, at right—"Drawn by James Osborn Portland 1827"—again shows the spelling of the surname without an "e," and the date indicates that this is his earliest known signed work. The only other painting signed "Osborn" is the undated early memorial for Nancy Bonney. We believe that some time after 1827 and before 1830 he elected to add the final letter to his name. Although the Angel record is Osborne's earliest known dated work, it shows almost all the characteristics observed in his later paintings. The identity of each child in the Libby family record is indicated by the inscription of the first letter of his or her name above the head; here, the first name is spelled out. Alongside the figures is their home, remarkably not much larger than they, with a sign inscribed "S. B. Angel/1827/Hotel." On each side of their home-hotel is a tree, one of which sets the pattern for many seen in his later paintings. In the sky overhead are two angels, each carrying a horn and scale. Between the angels is a large, seeing-eye Masonic symbol, undoubtedly a sign of S. B. Angel's membership in this fraternal group. In the center of the bottom margin is the following inscription: "This FAMILY PIECL [sic] is humbly dedicated to CAPTr! S. B. ANGEL." Below the eye is a group of hearts in which the family genealogical data is recorded. The youngest child, Samuel, was born in 1828, but the painting was done in 1827; obviously, Samuel's heart was added by someone else following his birth. Octavia was probably pregnant when Osborn visited the family, and she is shown holding Samuel, in anticipation of his arrival. Octavia Dyer was born on August 6, 1792, in Cape Elizabeth.' The 1820 Maine Census lists a Samuel Angel residing at Cape Elizabeth with his wife and children. The 1830 Maine Census Index shows no Samuel at Cape Elizabeth, but an Octavis Angel living there as the head of a family. Since the Angels had no male child with the name of Octavis, we can assume that "Octavis" was an error and should have been "Octavia." The 1830 census, in contrast to the index, does list Octavia Angel as the head of a family in Cape Elizabeth. All this strongly suggests that the Angels had lived in Cape Elizabeth and that Samuel had died prior to Osborn's execution of the family record. This conclusion is supported by the fact that the painting was dedicated to Captain Angel. The Angel family record may have been the first in a series of paintings done by James Osborn(e). Census records show that many members of the Hatch and Angel families lived in Portland, and their word-of-mouth recommendations may have led to later commissions. It is also possible that Osborn's Portland patrons may have seen the Angel family record when they stopped at the Angels' Cape Elizabeth hotel.

They are in a somewhat romantic pose—his left arm is extended across her upper back and his hand is resting on her left shoulder.

FARMERS ARMS 1831 Watercolor and ink on paper 9 3/8

7 5/s"

Collection of Arthur and Sybil Kern Signed "J. Osborne. 1831-"

HANNAH LIBBY AND MR. PLANTE 1830 Watercolor and ink on paper 9 1/4

7 3/8"

Collection of Arthur and Sybil Kern Signed "J. Osborne. 1830"

CAPTAIN S. B. AND OCTAVIA DYER ANGEL FAMILY RECORD 1827 Watercolor and ink on paper 17 1/4

22"

Private collection Signed "Drawn by James Osborn Portland 1827." A poem, which later appears on the Libby family record, is here inscribed on each side of the dedication. Photograph courtesy of David A. Schorsch Inc.


S

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 41


One additional work, Mother and Two Children, inscribed "Drawn by J.: Osborne. 1831.," was discovered as the result of letters concerning our research published in Maine Antique Digest and Antiques and the Arts Weekly. There is a decided similarity in structure between this and the previously noted Mother and Three Children, which was painted the same year. In each, there is no father figure and the mother forms a rather striking triangle with a child on either side; in both we see the family homestead, and the same tree, with a reddish long-tailed bird on a dead branch extending from the lower trunk, is depicted to the left of the subjects. We reviewed a considerable amount of material relating to the Maine towns in which Osborn(e) was active. One significant positive finding from this was a short article dealing with an 1884 visit by the author to the Scarborough mansion of Richard King before it was finally demolished.' In it the author describes the mansion's four murals as follows:"One wall from the dado to the ceiling, was devoted to a painting called 'Solomon's Temple;' another side of the room displayed what was called a representation of 'The Enterprise and Boxer;' another showed an 'Equestrian view of Gen. Washington;' and over the mantle was emblazoned the 'Arms of the United States,' occupying the whole wall." Most significant is his final sentence: "I think the artist's name was Osborn." Although it cannot be stated with certainty that the Osborn spoken of here was James Osborn(e), the location of the paintings in Scarborough, where he was active between 1827 and 1832, and the fact that one of the murals was of the battle between the Boxer and the Enterprise, makes it most likely that it was. Preliminary investigation of the artist's life was not too rewarding. In The New-York Historical Society's Dictionary of American Artists 1584-1860, in which his surname was spelled without the "e," it is reported only that he was a painter of watercolor portraits active about 1800.' The source for this, Lipman and Winchester's 1950 book, Primitive Painters in America 1750-1950,18 provided no additional information. Early in the project, however, we learned that Osborne was listed in the 1831 Portland City Directory as a painter on Main Street.'9 Subsequent review of all available Portland city directories for 1823 through 1847 disclosed a listing for James Osborne (or Osborn) only in 1830, 1831, 1848, and 1855. The directory for 1830, like that for 1831, gives his occupation as a painter on Main Street. The James Osborn listed in the 1848 and 1855 directories proved to be a different person. Review of the Maine Census Indexes for the years 1820 through 1850 revealed a James Osborn in Kennebunk in 1820 and 1830, a James Osborn, Jr., in Kennebunk in 1830, and a James Osborne in Portland in 1830. Since the artist was working in Portland in 1830, it appeared likely that he and the Portland James Osborne of the census were the same. Study of the detailed census on microfilm revealed that the family of the James Osborne living in Portland in 1830 consisted of one male and one female, each between thirty and forty, a girl under five years, and two boys, one under five and one between five and ten. The census records of the two Osbornes in

SO SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

Kennebunk were such as to make the senior one very unlikely, but did not rule out the junior as a possibility. However, details of the latter's life made it unlikely that he was the artist.' Most significant was the fact that in 1821 he married Lydia Burnham of Kennebunkport." The previously mentioned diary of Samuel Libby supplied important information concerning the artist. On December 25, 1830, Libby wrote: "Very heavy rain, Storm for Christmas. Mr James Osborne is here painting bedrooms." On February 24, 1831, he wrote: "Warm Some a plowing. Mr James Osborne went from here. Been painting Oil Clothes for tables and other things." It is not clear whether Osborne had continued working there for the entire two-month period or had left and returned. At no time during the investigation did we find any evidence of Osbom(e)'s receiving instruction in artistic painting. It is likely that his work in this area evolved from his experience as a painter of houses,"Oil Clothes," and the like. One of our most exciting experiences during the course of this project was the discovery of the record of James Osborn's marriage. On May 14, 1827, a service conducted by Charles B. Smith, town clerk of Portland, "solemnized" the marriage of "James Osborne of Philadelphia with Nancy Bonney of Portland."" Here his last name incorrectly ends with an "e." In a copy of the original marriage record, which yields the additional information that their intent to marry had been filed on September 13, 1826, his name is correctly spelled "Osborn."" These findings answered the question that had previously been bothering us: was the James Osborn(e) we were investigating actually the folk painter? Since the latter had done a memorial for Nancy Bonney, their being married made it fairly certain that the James Osborn(e) who had come from Philadelphia to Portland and the James Osborn(e) who was the painter were the same man. While the marriage record answered some questions, it also posed a new one. The census for 1830 shows that James Osborne was married, with one daughter under five and two sons, one under five and one between five and ten. Yet Osborne and Nancy Bonney were married in 1827. This suggests that at least the oldest child was the result of a previous marriage. Study of Philadelphia census records revealed many Bonney families residing there in 1810 and in 1820; the 1820 census also lists a James Osborn. It is possible, then, that he met Nancy at the time of her visit to a relative there." It seems probable that Osborn moved from Philadelphia to the Portland area shortly before 1826, when the intent to marry was filed; this would help explain why we found no evidence of Osborn's artistic activity in Maine prior to 1827.

It seems probable that Osborn moved from Philadelphia to the Portland area shortly before 1826, when the intent to marry was filed...


We have been unable to find any evidence of Osborn(e)'s presence in Maine after 1832. This suggests three possibilities: he and his family may have returned to Philadelphia, they may have moved elsewhere, or he may have died soon after 1832. Discovery of an 1835 death record for a James Osborn filed in the city of Philadelphia" appeared to have solved the problem. However, this record lists his age at death as sixty-eight years, which means that this could not be the same man who had been living in Portland in 1830; in the 1830 Maine census Osborne is listed as being between thirty and forty years of age. It is possible, however, that the James Osborn who died at Philadelphia in 1835 was the father of the painter. Since the son does not appear in either the Maine or Pennsylvania census of 1840, it is likely that he died some time between 1832 and 1840. The 1840 Pennsylvania Census Index lists Nancy, not James, as the head of an Osborn household in Philadelphia." Her presence in Philadelphia at that time suggests that the family had moved back, and that James had died there between 1832 and 1840. She subsequently returned to Maine; according to an old record" she died in Wiscasset, approximately forty miles from Portland, on January 10, 1858. There is no mention in this record of her husband, James, a fact that supports the hypothesis that she was by this time a widow. Since Nancy Bonney Osborn died in 1858, the memorial for Nancy Bonney must have been for her child. As previously indicated, the evidence points to this painting as being one of Osborn(e)'s earliest, so it must have been done prior to 1827, when James and Nancy were married. The child depicted was probably the result of Nancy's earlier marriage to a Mr. Bonney. Although many questions concerning the life and work of James Osborn(e) remain to be answered, what has thus far been learned about him presents a fairly typical picture of the early nineteenth-century American folk artist. It is hoped that our report will bring to light some of his as yet unknown paintings, as well as additional information concerning his life. *

Arthur and Sybil Kern are researchers, writers, and lecturers on early Americanfolk art. This is their thirteenth published magazine article; their work has appeared in Folk Art, The Clarion, The Magazine Antiques,and Antiques World. They have also served as guest curatorsfor various exhibitions at the Museum of American Folk Art.

NOTES 1 Charles T. Libby, The Libby Family in America 1602-1882 (Portland, Me.: B. Thurston & Co., 1882), p. 112. 2 Ibid. pp. 21-27,40-41,63. 3 Ibid. p. 112. 4 Ibid. pp. 75, 124. 5 Matthew Adams Stickney, A Genealogical Memoir ofthe Descendants of William and Elizabeth Stickney,from 1637 to 1869(Salem, Mass.: Essex Institute Press, 1869), p. 338. 6 M.& M.Karolik Collection ofAmerican Watercolors & Drawings 1800-1875, volume II,(Boston: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1962), p. 210.

7 Beatrix T. Rumford,gen. ed., American Folk Paintings, The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center Series II,(Boston: A New York Graphic Society Book in association with Little, Brown & Company, 1988), pp. 208-209. 8 J. Fenimore Cooper,History ofthe Navy ofthe United States ofAmerica, volume II(New York: G.P. Putnam & Co., 1856), pp. 63-66. 9 Ibid. pp. 108-110. 10 Libby, The Libby Family in America, p. 259. 11 The July 1993 Maine Antique Digest, p. 40-D, has an illustrated advertisement for a transfer-covered pitcher entitled "FARMER'S ARMS." On the pitcher, as in the painting, are representations of the tools used by the fanner. 12 Journal of Samuel Libby, 1829-1846, Collection of the Maine Historical Society, Portland, Maine. 13 Both the 1840 and the 1850 census show a John Plant, the first in Brunswick, Cumberland County, and the second in Columbia, Washington County. However, based on their ages, we can be sure that neither is the Mr. Plante depicted here. 14 Libby, The Libby Family in America, p. 112; Samuel D. Rumery,Scarborough Births, Deaths and Marriages 1817-1879 (1927), p. 243. 15 Lori Altine Woodbury Underhill, Descendants ofEdward Small ofNew England (privately printed at the University Press, Cambridge, 1910), pp. 1288-1289. According to this book, Octavia Dyer was a twin, and was born in Cape Elizabeth on August 6, 1792. Her date of marriage is given as February 17, 1810, instead of February 14, 1811; a more serious error is the reporting of her husband's name as Captain John Goold. 16 "The Mansion and Tomb of Richard King of Scarborough," The Maine Historical and Genealogical Recorder, vol. 1., 1884, pp. 126-127. 17 George B. Groce and David H. Wallace, The New-York Historical Society's Dictionary ofArtists in America 1564-1860 (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1957), p. 479. 18 Jean Lipman and Alice Winchester, Primitive Painters in America 1750-1950(New York: Dodd Mead & Company, 1950), p. 178. 19 Newsletter of the Maine Historical Society, Spring 1986. 20 Daniel Remich,History ofKennebunk (published by Carrie E. Remich and Walter L. Dane,Trustees, 1911), pp. 242, 253, 412,436. 21 Ibid. p. 537. 22 Vital Records—Marriages,Portland, vol. 4, p. 51. 23 Pre-1892 Vital Records of80 Maine Cities and Towns,State Archives, Augusta. 24 Passenger-carrying sailing schooners that ran between Portland and Philadelphia made travel between these cities easy. 25 Registration ofDeaths, City ofPhiladelphia, microfilm, Collection of Pennsylvania Historical Society,Philadelphia. 26 Spelling of her surname as "Osborn" may have been a clerical error, or perhaps upon her return to Philadelphia, where the name had been spelled without the "e," Nancy returned to the original spelling. 27 Pre-I892 Vital Records 0180 Maine Cities and Towns, State Archives, Augusta.

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 51


Elijah Pierce and BOOK OF WOOD (first panel, recto, and last panel, recto) Elijah Pierce (1892-1984) Columbus, Ohio c. 1932 Carved and painted wood reliefs with glitter, mounted on painted commercial wood paneling Four two-sided panels, each 27 1/8

30 3/4

5"

Columbus Museum of Art PANEL 1, recto: Nativity; Annunciation to the Shepherds;

Flight into Egypt; First Meeting of Jesus and John the Baptist; Mary, Jesus, and John the Baptist; the Three Wise Men PANEL 4, recto: Angels of Grace, Mercy, and Truth; Crowing Cock; Angel at the Empty Tomb

One Good Book 52 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART


James Hampton SE CoR0E0 oF MAE

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ords are sacred, an utterly reliable guide to reality. The visual sense is not highly cultivated because it is not regarded as a potential link between the divine and the creation. Southern religion rarely generates art, whether paintings or sculptures." Samuel S. Hill, eminent historian of religion in the American South, has made this observation, admittedly with a traditional ecclesiastical setting or purpose for art as his frame of reference. This observation would surprise many Southern folk and selftaught artists who have credited the inspiration, form, and content of their work to their religion. One need only think, for example, of Tennessean William Edmondson's assertion that "Jesus has planted the seed of carving in me," or Georgian Howard Finster's declaration that a divine voice told him, "Paint sacred art."'

W

(1909-1964) Washington, D.C. c. 1950-1964 Ink and foil on paperboard and paper 7 x 5 x 1"(closed) National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, lent anonymously.

Begets Another L'YNDA ROSCOE HARTIGAN

Let us consider specifically the ways in which Southern-born African Americans Elijah Pierce (18921984) and James Hampton (19091964) shifted the Bible's creative inspiration from the written and spoken word to the visual realm, begetting in the process their own versions of the Good Book. Those familiar with each man's work will readily call to mind Pierce's small carved and painted narrative panels, such as his masterful Crucifixion (mid-1930s), and Hampton's monumental ensemble, The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations Millenium General Assembly [sic] (c. 1950-1964). Each man also produced an inspirational book—Pierce, his Book of Wood (c. 1932), and Hampton, his St. James Book of the 7 Dispensations (c. 1950-1964). Taken together, their books and their larger bodies of work establish the degree to which Pierce and Hampton drew upon the expressive, evangelical nature of their Southern African-American heritage. Even today, the South, more than any other region in the United States, is dominated by evangelical Protestantism. Historically, the evangelical approach to Christianity emphasizes the authority of Scripture, direct access to God, salvation through personal conversion, and the importance of preaching rather than ritual. Whether this form of Christianity is practiced by Americans of European or African ancestry in organized Baptist churches or in informal Pentecostal storefronts, the Southern paradigm of Christian faith advocates a direct and personal relationship to God. African Americans have forged a distinctive relationship with Christianity since their conversion during the time of slavery and its aftermath. Unlike Southern whites, Southern blacks have historically emphasized Christianity's prophetic dimension, believing that when God calls you, he calls you to freedom, a prerequisite for self-esteem, strength, and salvation. Rather than appealing to an authoritative God for forgiveness, black Christians seek recognition from Jesus, celebrating his love and deliverance. Celebration and conversion merge in black

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 53


IT'S YOUR CHANCE TO SEE

The Mammoth SACRED AR Demonstrati Possibly one of the most inteeestin

Photo courtesy Pierce Archive, Columbus Museum of Art

and inspiring features of the grea work that is done 13)

Rev. Mr. & Mrs. E. Pierce Their unique Biblical arid Education Art exhibit, portraying nary Bible Characters and events; all having bee accomplished with an ordinary pock knife and chisel. You cannot affcr to miss seeing the great masterpiece THE BOOK OF WOOD,Portraying

THE LIFE OF CHRIST OPEN FOR APPOINTMEN AT 144 EVERT'!'

coLumuus. Onto

ST.

Christianity, evidenced by the intimacy, intense enthusiasm, and ecstatic catharsis shared by preacher and congregation. African-American religion scholars C. Eric Lincoln and Lawrence H. Mamiya have described the black church as the first black theater.' The unwritten script is based on improvising from God's word—in the form of sermons, testimonies, exhortations, responses, and songs. The spontaneity and artistry of the African-American preaching style owes much to a keen sense of musical phrasing and rhythm. It also draws heavily upon popular storytelling forms such as folk versions of scriptural stories and parables, and the love of telling tales. Elijah Pierce—barber, licensed lay minister, and wood carver—responded to that tradition. Pierce's call to divine service came shortly before he received his preaching license in 1920 (at the age of twenty-eight) from the Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Baldwyn, Mississippi, his birthplace. Ironically, he had spent most of his youth trying to avoid the calling of his family's Baptist religiosity: "I was a Jonah. I ran from the ministry twenty years."' To Pierce, a barber in Columbus, Ohio, for more than fifty years, preaching was neither a pro-

fession nor a sideline. Instead, he interpreted preaching as the responsibility of those called by God to spread the Word. Pierce loved to talk, as was clear to anyone who heard him speak from the pulpit of the Gay Street Baptist Church, at county fairs, in his barber shop, among friends, or during interviews. And even as a child, he also loved to carve. He proudly proclaimed in his later years,"I'm the man who makes wood talk."5 His description of his carvings as messages and sermons inspired their designation as "Sermons in Wood" in the popular press and the art world. This descriptive term, however, is more than a snappy phrase. Rather than composing their sermons in the formal written sense, black preachers have developed a characteristic oral format.' After acknowledging God's inspiration, a preacher builds his sermon's dynamic around the relationship between scriptural reference and contemporary life. Scriptural precedent can illuminate contemporary dilemmas, morality, and events, or the secular context can illustrate a complex religious concept. The preacher proceeds organically, juxtaposing the literal and the symbolic, the secular and the sacred, as he explores a central theme. Although the message is didactic, in order to facilitate leeway for personal insight and application, the approach is illustrative, imaginative, and inspirational rather than decisively conclusive. In structure and intent, Pierce's panels are visual variations on the performed sermon. He often explained his ability to see his forms or subjects before he began a carving as God's gift of divination. Many of the bas-relief panels, such as the early work Noah's Ark (1944), feature a single event or image as the leitmotif, cohesive yet revelatory because of the elaboration of detail. Other panels created by Pierce, such as Elijah Escapes the Mob (1972), emphasize a layout that pieces, charts, or frames vignettes, single details, and, on occasion, carved inscriptions. In this format, the internal logic or progression of a narrative is implied but may not be readily apparent. Whether the infrastructure

is centralized or composite, the panels project the sense of a story unfolding, ready for interpretation. In Elijah Escapes the Mob,the word "MOB" carved at the top left announces an event drawn from Pierce's itinerant misadventures before he was converted. From top left to bottom right, he is mistakenly chased and arrested for the murder of a white man, is exonerated yet instructed to get out of town, and is last seen running home to safety. Couched in autobiographical and modern terms, the panel is a parable of Pierce's namesake—the prophet Elijah, who resisted his own calling before accepting civic and sacred responsibilities. Pierce regularly drew upon his life, his community, and biblical, historical, or contemporary events to provide contexts for the spiritual point he hoped to make. Like most successful preachers, Pierce combined storytelling abilities with a flair for showmanship. During the 1940s he issued broadsides (one- or two-page notices) to advertise the Book of Wood as well as "The Mammoth Sacred Art Demonstration," a group of religious and moralizing carvings that Pierce used while preaching on the road or made available for viewing in his home. Probably taken for advertising purposes as well, a pre1948 studio photograph of Pierce and his second wife, Cornelia, with the "Sacred Art Demonstration" reinforces Pierce's self-awareness as a performer or public figure. Since the 1930s, the couple had traveled throughout the Midwest and the

Pierce's broadside advertisement for "The Mammoth Sacred Art Demonstration," 1940s

(opposite) ST. JAMES BOOK OF THE 7 DISPENSATIONS (sample pages) James Hampton (1909-1964) Washington, D.C. C. 1950-1964 Ink on paper 7

5"

National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, lent anonymously

(below) Elijah Pierce and his second wife, Cornelia Pierce, with "The Mammoth Sacred Art Demonstration" in a pre-1948 studio photograph

Photo courtesy Pierce Archives. Columbus Museum of Art

54 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

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South to speak at county fairs, tent revivals, and other informal events. Pierce illustrated his sermonettes on the road or in church with the help of his carvings, which he frequently gave away or sold for modest prices well before his first publicity as a folk artist in 1967. Pierce, however, never parted with his Book of Wood, the most ambitious expression of his preaching. His casual accounts of its evolution give substantial credit to Cornelia: "I had carved up a lot of pictures, and my wife said 'Let's make a book, a book of wood,' so we got together and started small pieces that we could put on a page: seven

.

pages and thirty-three pictures representing the seven great churches of Asia Minor and the thirty-three years that Christ was here on earth." Although Pierce said that he worked on the Book of Wood for about six months around 1932, in truth he reworked this hefty object intermittently until his death in 1984. Foil, wrapping paper, and wall paneling came and went as decorative materials, as did different materials for the covers and each page's frame.' To accommodate the overall dimensions of 27 x 31 x 5 inches, the book's format, however, was always that of a binder, which facilitated turning the pages when the book lay flat or removing them if Pierce wanted to hang or spread out the contents, whether for display purposes or reworking. Pierce's choice of episodes provides a fairly comprehensive survey of Christ's life. The first page of carvings summarizes events surrounding the Nativity, such as the annunciation to the shepherds at the top right, and culminates in a detail of the Virgin Mary with the young Jesus and John the Baptist at left cen-

ter of the page. On subsequent pages Pierce interrupted biblical sequence, sometimes favoring more obscure moments or symbols over obvious key events in his sampling of Christ's tribulations and accomplishments. By the seventh and final page, details of the crowing cock and the angel announcing the stone pulled away from the tomb swiftly take the reader from the Crucifixion to the Resurrection. Pierce's juxtapositions of highly abbreviated details from the four Gospels echo the liberties taken by many black preachers who freely recombine fragments of biblical events with the understanding that the congregation can easily follow the meaning because of the extent of their familiarity with the Scriptures. If Pierce's body of work engages the traditional communityoriented narrative of AfricanAmerican evangelical preaching, then James Hampton's efforts, at least at first glance, might seem to swing toward an unfathomable, pri-

vate extreme of evangelical faith. The dearth of both hard fact and the maker's words contribute to that impression. Certainly, Hampton has received the extremes of attention— from clinical psychologists, who have speculated that Hampton's schizophrenic delusions shaped his creativity, to art critic Robert Hughes, who has maintained that The Throne "may well be the finest work of visionary art by an American."9 Unlike the articulate and outgoing Pierce, Hampton preferred solitude and limited his explanations to brief handwritten or typed labels that he attached to many of the 180 objects that comprise The Throne of the Third Heaven of the Nations

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

55


Millenium General Assembly. To one of the few people in whom he confided, Hampton acknowledged that he aspired to a public ministry, probably in a storefront setting. In 1964, Hampton died at the age of fifty-five without having achieved that goal, and his architecturally scaled project, now in the collection of the National Museum of American Art, is most likely unfinished.' Ironically, it is Hampton's modest yet immensely intriguing book, St. James Book of the 7 Dispensations, that suggests an African-American religious context for his project. As Maude Wahlman has explained, the peoples of West and Central Africa identified their own writing, and that of others, with knowledge, power, and intelligence, all qualities that implied sacred protection." Various symbolic religious writing systems were developed as forms of protection against physical and supernatural danger. When entered as designs on the ground, structures, clothing, or objects, the intent of this ideographic writing was culturally understood even though the deeper religious meanings were usually revealed only to elders. Scholars such as Robert Farris Thompson have argued persuasively for the retention and transformation of such concepts among Central and West Africans brought to the New World as slaves. To assure survival of the transplanted culture within this new environment, the forms and meanings of such traditions or practices had to change. The original intent, however, often prevailed and resurfaced, a fact that must be taken into account when assessing the diagrammatic or calligraphic writing systems developed by various visionary African-American artists in the South, among whom Hampton figures prominently. Measuring 7 x 5 x 1 inches when closed, the St. James Book was originally a government-issue notebook. Hampton had probably retrieved it from the refuse bin of one of the government buildings that he serviced as a janitor for the General Services Administration in Washington, D.C., after 1946. Across each of the notebook's one hundred lined pages, Hampton

513 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

entered gracefully inked characters that suggest but do not mimic Middle or Far Eastern languages. It does not appear that he arranged his script to the cadence of English punctuation, capitalization, or grammatical structures. On some pages, especially toward the front of the book, the runon characters fall within two vertical areas demarcated by black and blue inks. Having stymied linguists, cryptographers, psychiatrists, and mediums, Hampton's writing system seems to be indecipherable in any traditional sense. Nonetheless, this book hints at portentous messages to be read by the initiated. On several pages, phrases such as "NRNR Jesus" and "Virgin Mary" and an occasional date leap out tantalizingly in the midst of his private script. And the essentials of organizing a book are presentâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;title, author, illustrated covers, more-or-less sequentially numbered pages, and the subheadings "St. James" and "Revelation" that appear on every page. The tabletlike form on the front cover incorporates Hampton's loose rendering of the Apostle's Creed and a symbolic design that bears a tempting resemblance to an African cosmogram. Inside the front cover, he entered the phrase "I believe" in hesitatingly written, misspelled fashion. The exterior back cover bears the phrase "The Second Recorded of the Ten Commandment" in conjunction with a tablet form decorated with the script that Hampton maintained God had given him to enter in this little book. He also believed that God had given him a second set of commandments because man had failed to obey the original ten. While Hampton's writing system may relate to a vestige of his African ancestry transformed in the area of South Carolina where he was born, his Christian beliefs and his construction The Throne of the Third Heaven most certainly reflect direct contact with the fundamentalist movement that swept through the North and the South during the early twentieth century. Fundamentalism encouraged its followers' preference for a literal interpretation of the Bible. It also incorporated the concept of dispensational premillennial-

ism, which taught that the seven historical eras or dispensations outlined in the Bible were literally separated into distinct ages, leading to Christ's second coming before his thousandyear reign on earth. Clearly, this concept influenced the title of Hampton's book; also, the word "dispensation" appears in the labels on at least half of his objects. Around 1950 Hampton took to heart the fundamentalist message as well as visions he had received since adolescence. In a rented garage, he began building 180 objects from castoff wooden furniture, aluminum foil, cardboard, plastic, and light bulbs. Calling upon an extraordinary predisposition toward improvising and assembling, he refashioned secondhand furniture into objects that resemble traditional church appointments, such as pulpits and an altar table, and created for them a layout resembling that of a church sanctuary. A makeshift platform against the rear wall was Hampton's only structural addition to his workspace. At the rear center of the ensemble is the throne from which radiate pairs of objects whose details match one another almost exactly. Hampton's labels on the objects indicate that those to the viewer's left of the throne refer to the New Testament, to Jesus, and to Grace, and those to the right refer to the Old Testament, to Moses, and to the Law. Although a humble man, Hampton used "St. James" as his title, again according to labels on several objects, including his book. He may have considered himself a prophet like John, the author of the Book of Revelation, the biblical source that greatly fueled Hampton's belief in the Second Coming and his desire to build The Throne as a "monument to Jesus"â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a phrase inscribed on several of his labels.' When God revealed the details of the Second Coming, he instructed St. John to record them, using a cryptic script, in a little book. That extraordinarily coincidental detail brings us full circle to "St. James" Hampton and his St. James Book. In the past, discussions of Hampton's work, including my own, have focused on his massive shimmering assemblage, consequent-


Smithsonian Institution

ELIJAH ESCAPES THE MOB Elijah Pierce (1892-1984) Columbus, Ohio 1972 Carved and painted wood relief 27 1/4

28 3/8"

Location unknown In 1982, in an effort to date the work for an exhibition, Pierce painted in the date "1975," although the piece had been exhibited in 1973 and was executed in 1972.

ly assigning this book an adjunct role because of the assumption that it followed or at least coincided with The Throne's construction. Recently, however, I have begun to wonder if Hampton's life as a premillennialist visionary began instead within these pages, developed some internal logic or confidence, and blossomed in elaborate sculptural form. This possibility escalates the imperative to investigate whether and how Hampton's writing, constructions, and beliefs represent a persuasive synthesis of formal African spiritualism and New World Christianity. This possibility would place Hampton well within the origin of African-American Christianity rather than banishing him to the realm of peripheral behavior, whether that stereotypically associated with selftaught artists, born-again Christians, or black Americans as outsiders. "Your Life is a Book and Every Day is a Page"â&#x20AC;&#x201D;so Elijah Pierce proclaimed in several of his carved panels. "Where There Is No Vision the People Perish"â&#x20AC;&#x201D;so James Hampton quoted from Proverbs for a sign on his decorated bulletin board. Both men lived and worked by the Good Book, building bridges

between the traditional and the personal, the literal and the symbolic, in visual testimony to the evangelical faith born of their Southern AfricanAmerican heritage.* Lynda Roscoe Hartigan is Curator of Painting and Sculpture at the National Museum ofAmerican Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington,D.C. She is the author ofSharing Traditions: Five Black Artists in Nineteenth-Century America (Washington,D.C.:Smithsonian Institution Pressfor the National Museum ofAmerican Art, 1985), Made with Passion: The Hemphill Folk Art Collection (Smithsonian Institution Press, 1990),and numerous exhibition catalogs. Hartigan presented "Elijah Pierce and James Hampton: One Good Book Begets Another"at the panel "Media Jumping and the African-American Artist"at the 1992 College Art Association annual meeting (held in Chicago).

NOTES

Samuel S. Hill,"Religion," in Charles Reagon Wilson and William Ferris, eds., The Encyclopedia ofSouthern Culture (Chapel Hill, N.C.: The University of North Carolina Press, 1990), p. 1293. 2 Edmondson to a Time magazine reporter in 1937, quoted in Will Edmondson's Mirkels(Nashville: Tennessee Fine Arts Center at Cheek1

wood, 1964), p. 1. Finster quoted in J.F. Turner, Howard Finster, Man of Visions: The Life and Work ofa SelfTaught Artist(New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1989), p. 4. 3 C. Eric Lincoln and Lawrence H. Marniya, The Black Church in the African-American Experience (Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1990), p. 6. 4 Pierce to Margaret Armbrust Seibert in an October 31, 1980,interview. Transcription of interview, Columbus Museum of Art Archives, Columbus, Ohio. 5 Pierce quoted in Michael Kernan, "Piercing, Wondrous Woodcarvings," Washington Post, March 21, 1976, p. Gl. 6 For an in-depth discussion of the relationship between Pierce's carving style and African-American preaching, see Gerald L. Davis,"Elijah Pierce, Woodcarver: Doves and Pain in Life Fulfilled," in Columbus Museum of Art, Elijah Pierce Woodcarver (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1992), pp. 13-25. 7 Elijah Pierce, Wood Carver (Columbus, Ohio: Columbus Gallery of Fine Arts 1973), unpaged. 8 The author's personal inspection of the object, 1981-1982; E. Jane Connell to the author, 1992; and Elijah Pierce Woodcarver, 1992, p. 205. 9 James L. Foy and James P. McMurrer, "James Hampton, Artist and Visionary," Psychiatry and Art, vol. 4(Basel: Karger, 1975): 64-75; and Robert Hughes, "Overdressing for the Occasion," Time (April 5, 1975): 46. 10 For an extended discussion of Hampton's life and work,see Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, The Throne ofthe Third Heaven ofthe Nations Millenium General Assembly(Montgomery, Ala.: Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, 1977). 11 Maude Southwell Waldman, "Africanisms in Afro-American Visionary Arts," in Baking in the Sun: Visionary Imagesfrom the South (Lafayette, La.: University Art Museum, University of Southwestern Louisiana, 1987), p. 29. 12 Hampton's use of the term "monument to Jesus" was most likely inspired by the African-American reverend A.J. Tyler, who in 1928 proclaimed his Mt. Airy Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.,"a monument to Jesus" and installed an electric sign bearing that phrase over the church's front door. Although it does not appear that Hampton officially belonged to Tyler's congregation, he did live in the church's neighborhood and Tyler was a widely known minister in Washington's black community.

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 57


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TRUSTEES/DONORS

BOARD OF TRUSTEES 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 Joan M.Johnson Vice President Peter M. Ciccone Treasurer Cynthia V. A. Schaffner Secretary Judith A. Jedlicka Susan Klein George F. Shaskan, Jr.

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

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The Museum of American Folk Art greatly appreciates the generous support of the following friends:

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Members Florence Brody Joyce Cowin David L. Davies Raymond C. Egan T. Marshall Hahn, Jr. Barbara Johnson, Esq. George H. Meyer, Esq. Cyril I. Nelson Maureen Taylor David C. Walentas Robert N. Wilson

American Folk Art Society Amicus Foundation William Arnett Asahi Shimbun Mr.& Mrs. Arthur L. Barrett Ben & Jerry's Homemade,Inc. Estate of Abraham P. Bersohn Dr. Robert Bishop Edward Vermont Blanchard & M. Anne Hill Mr.& Mrs. Edwin C. Braman Marilyn & Milton Brechner Mr.& Mrs. Edward J. Brown Iris Carmel Morris B. and Edith S. Cartin Family Foundation Tracy & Barbara Cate Edward Lee Cave Chinon, Ltd. Estate of Thomas M. Conway David L. Davies Mr.& Mrs. Donald DeWitt Gerald & Marie DiManno The Marion & Ben Duffy Foundation Mr.& Mrs. Alvin Einbender Ellin F. Ente Ross & Glady A. Faires Daniel & Jessie Lie Farber Mrs. Eva Feld Estate of Morris Feld Susan & Eugene Flamm

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Joseph Martinson Memorial Fund Philip Morris Companies,Inc. David & Jane Walentas 850,000-$99,999 Anonymous The Henry Luce Foundation, Inc. 820,000449,999 Country Living David L. Davies and Jack Weeden

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(//////i.9MAV

FIFTY,YEARS OF AMERICAN PORTRAITURE

EXHIBITION CATALOG //2J. ) CRECT/SW/243 CATZMI g4di FIFTY YEARS OF AMERICAN PORTRAITURE By Stacy C. Hollander and Howard P. Fertig

Foreword by Gerard C. Wertkin Published by the Museum of American Folk Art 9 x 11",80 pages,50 full-color plates, $24.95 Members are entitled to a 10% discount INCLUDES: Introduction and detailed captions and descriptions of each of the fifty full-color illustrations by curator Stacy C. Hollander. Reprint of Mary Black's renowned essay"Ammi Phillips: Portrait Painter," written in association with Barbara and Larry Holdridge,from the long out-of-print 1968 exhibition catalog Ammi Phillips: Portrait Painter 1788-1865.

mmi Phillips(1788-1865) was one of the foremost American folk artists of the nineteenth century. Revisiting Ammi Phillips: Fifty Years of American Portraiture, the first major publication of Phillips's work in more than twenty-five years, refocuses attention on the artistic achievements of this remarkable American master. Fifty major paintings from important museum and private collections are presented in full color and highlight the various periods of Phillips's career. This selection includes acknowledged masterpieces of the artist's oeuvre, as well as works that were unknown or had not yet been located when the Museum of American Folk Art presented its first comprehensive examination of this artist's work in the 1968 exhibition "Ammi Phillips: Portrait Painter 1788-1865."

A

Chronology and expanded checklist of more than 600 identified paintings, compiled by research curator Howard P. Fertig. The checklist includes twice the number of paintings published in the 1968 catalog.

LIMITED SPONSOR'S EDITION A beautiful limited edition of two hundred hand-numbered cloth-bound copies of this work has been printed and will be awarded to those who make a special $125 contribution ($75 of which is tax deductible) to be used toward funding the exhibition and catalog.

TO ORDER YOUR COPY,COMPLETE AND MAIL COUPON TO: MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FOLK ART,61 WEST 62ND STREET,NEW YORK,NY 10023 Please send

copies of the paperback edition @$24.95 per copy($22.45 per copy for Museum members).

Add $4.00 for shipping and handling on all orders. New York residents add appropriate sales tax to total. Please send

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Mr.& Mrs. Lester S. Morse, Jr. Mr.& Mrs. Keith Scott Morton Mr.Paul L. Oppenheimer Mr. & Mrs. Samuel M.Palley Anthony Petullo Dr. Burton W.Pearl Mr.& Mrs. Gerald P. Peters Mr.& Mrs. Laurence B. Pike Ricco/Maresca Gallery Betty Ring Marguerite Riordan Mr.& Mrs. David Ritter Mr.& Mrs. Martin Rosen Mr.& Mrs. Derald H. Ruttenberg Toni Ross & Jeff Salaway Mr. & Mrs. Roger Schlaifer Mr.& Mrs. Robert T. Schaffner Jean S.& Frederic A. Sharf Karen Schuster Aaron Schwartz Mary Schwartz Mr.& Mrs. Richard Schwartz Mr. H. Marshall Schwarz Rev. & Mrs. Alfred R. Shands, III Suzanne Shawe Randy Siegel Susan Simon Jill & Robert C. Smith Mr.& Mrs. Richard Solomon Jerry I. Speyer

Mr. William W.Stahl, Jr. Peter Tishman Susan Unterberg Elizabeth R. & Michael A. Varet Jeanette & Paul Wagner Jessie Walker Associates Clune J. Walsh, Jr. Joan Walsh Mr.& Mrs. Bruce Waterfall Mr.& Mrs. John L. Weinberg Mr.& Mrs. Roger J. Weiss Herbert Wells Mr.& Mrs. Frank P. Wendt The Museum is grateful to the Cochairmen of its Special Events Committee for the significant support received through the Museum's major fund raising event. Lucy C. Danziger Cynthia V.A. Schaffner

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MUSEUM

NEWS

Paula Laverty and Folk Art editor

COMPILED BY TANYA HEINRICH

Rosemary Gabriel.

Ammi Phillips and Grenfell Mats Open to Rave Reviews wo of the most significant and beautiful exhibitions ever presented by the Museum opened on February 7. "Revisiting Ammi Phillips: Fifty Years of American Portraiture," exquisitely mounted in the East Gallery, was organized by curator Stacy C. Hollander and research curator Howard P. Fertig. This important exhibition documented Ammi Phillips's august career, which lasted from 1811 to 1862. Roberta Smith of the New York Times, wrote of the exhibition,"It's more than just a metaphor to say that the itinerate portraitist Ammi Phillips...painted the geometry of the soul. The idea has an explicit, often moving reality at the Museum of American Folk Art, where 50 of Phillips's stiffly elegant paintings create an early American portrait gallery." The exhibition featured paintings on loan from such institutions as the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Art Museum at Princeton University, The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, the National Gallery of Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among others. Barbara and Larry Holdridge (who,in association with Mary Black, organized "Ammi Phillips: Portrait Painter 1788-1865," an exhibition presented by the Museum of American Folk Art in 1968) were honored by Director Gerard C. Wertkin and a myriad of distinguished guests, including Michael J. Gladstone, who was instrumental in editing and producing the catalog that accompanied the 1968 exhibition."Revisiting Ammi Phillips:

T

Fifty Years of American Portraiture," will be on view from July 9 through September 4 at the San Diego Museum of Art, San Diego, and from October 9 through December 31 at the Terra Museum of American Art in Chicago. An exhibition catalog prepared by the Museum of American Folk Art is available by mail or at the Museum of American Folk Art book shops. "Northern Scenes: Hooked Art of the Grenfell Mission," beautifully conceived by curator Paula Laverty, presented 70 hooked mats from the cottage industry established in 1907 at the Grenfell Mission in Newfoundland and included many contextual objects and ephemera. Ann Meredith Garneau, Consul, Cultural and Academic Affairs for Canada, was among the many guests who filled the gallery and warmly expressed their enthusiasm for the exhibition. Other guests included collectors Patricia L. Smith and Robin Walker and Dr. Grenfell's biographer, Ronald Rompkey, professor of English, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's. Rompkey's lecture,"Sir Wilfred Grenfell and Cultural Intervention in Labrador" was given in the gallery on February 9. Writing in the New York Times, Rita Reif observed, "While not more than a footnote to Grenfell's pioneering work as a physician and educator, the rugs are a charming legacy of the craftsmanship achieved in a social program that improved the lives of the area's poorest. The soft colorings on the Grenfell pieces are often surprisingly satisfying. The mauve-blue skies, green-yellow earth and orange sunsets add

vibrancy to conventional scenes of the frozen north." The opening reception for both exhibitions was one of the most exciting and well-attended events of the Museum's calendar and brought together members, trustees, private lenders, and representatives of many major collections, museums,and art institutions. Milton and Marilyn Brechner in front of their portrait of James Mairs Salisbury.

Larry Holdridge (left), Barbara Holdridge, and Michael J. Gladstone.

Sue Whitman (right) with her son John R. Whitman, his wife, Cheryl Whitman, and their daughter, Jessica, in front of the portraits of Elder Luman Burtch and Esther Burtch from the collection of the Roswell H. Whitman family.

Collector Robin Walker (left), Professor Ronald Rompkey, and Ann Meredith Garneau, Consul, Cultural and Academic Affairs, Canada.

Photography by Matt Hoebermann.

66 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART


THE HA\DS OF FAITH Fall Exhibition Opening n September 17, .., o. the Museum will present "Text and Context," an exhibition examining the marriage of the symbolic languages of the written word and the graphic image that is prevalent in so many folk expressions. The exhibition, organized by Stacy C. Hollander, the Museum's curator, will draw upon the Museum's collections as well as several important private collections of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century folk art. When text and pictorial imagery are joined, the result frequently assumes one of the following familiar guises: an illustrated narrative, a work that serves a ceremonial or religious function, or a forum for conveying the artist's opinions. Through materials as diverse as gravestones, quilts, fraktur, and visionary art,"Text

0

DELTA PAINTING (detail) Reverend Howard Finster Summerville, Georgia 1983 Enamel paint on wood panel, decorated wood frame molding 28 5/s â&#x20AC;˘ 45 Vs" Museum of American Folk Art,

gift of Elizabeth Ross Johnson 1985.35.33

and Context" will explore the symbiotic relationship that text and image have enjoyed in many diverse forms of American folk art. The exhibition will run through January 8,1995. Public programming will include daytime and evening lectures for adults and special weekend storytelling for children, featuring readings by children's book authors and artists. For more information call the Museum at 212/ 977-7170.

Valued Staff Member Relocates various community and educahyllis A. Tepper has been tional groups on quilting and affiliated with the Musfolk art. eum in various capacities A native New Yorker, Phyllis since 1976. She was among the spent ten years as an elementary first group of docents trained by school teacher. She received a the Museum and served on its B.A.from Queens College and Friends Committee. Phyllis an M.A. in International Art the Folk Registrar of became Organization from New York Institute, the educational branch University. She is a Fellow of of the Museum,in 1985. She inithe Museum of American Folk tiated the New York Quilt Art, having completed its Folk Project in 1987 and has served as Art Institute's certificate proits director ever since. Phyllis gram. Her background prepared Tepper is the curator of the exhiher for the many challenges she bition "New York Beauties: successfully met as an education Quilts from the Empire State," administrator for the Museum. now on view through September Phyllis leaves New York to relo11, and co-author of the book of cate to Florida and will be dearly the same title, published by missed by us all. Dutton Studio Books in 1992. Phyllis has also written for this publication and has lectured to

p

REV.L.T. THOMAS

REV. JOHNNIE SWEARINGEN Hector Alonzo Benavides Cyril Billiot Carl Block Hawkins Bolden Richard Burnside Rhinestone Cowboy Burgess Dulaney Homer Green Rev. J.L. Hunter James Harold Jennings M.C. 5(t Jones Joe Light R. A. Miller Carl Nash

"Good Buddies"

"The Poor Farmer" Ernestine Polk Royal Robertson Xmeah ShaElaRe'EL 011ie Smith David Strickland Jimmie Lee Sudduth Rev. Johnnie Swearingen Rev. L.T. Thomas Mose Tolliver Texas Kid Watson George White Artist Chuckie Williams George Williams Onis Woodard

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Alabama's Visionary Folk Artists Text by Kathy Kemp • Photographs by Keith Boyer Introduction by Gail Trechsel

Featuring: Thornton Dial• Lonnie Holley• Bill Traylor• Mose Tolliver• Fred Webster • Myrtice West• Howard Finster• Jimmy Lee Sudduth • Woodie Long...and more

labama is increasingly viewed as an active center of visionary folk A art (also known as outsider or self-taught art), producing a high volume of exceptional artists and works. Revelations, the first definitive volume covering Alabama's key visionary folk artists, presents these exciting works and their creators in a beautiful full-color hardbound edition worthy of the finest collection. •10/ 1 2"x 10"! 224 pages / hardcover /full color gloss varnish jacket •Over 100 full-color reproductions of Alabama's most important works of visionary folk art • Profiles of each artist with quality black-and-white portrait photos •Introduction by Gail Trechsel of the Birmingham Museum of Art • Also available in bookstores, galleries, and museum shops To order, simply fill our the order form below and mail with your mment or credit card number. ORDER FORM Please send me copies of Revelations at $60 plus $4.50 shipping and handling per book. Alabama residents add $2.80 sales tax. Name Address City

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SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 69


MUSEUM

NEWS

CHILD WITH A BASKET Artist unknown Probably Mt. Vernon, Kennebec County, Maine C.1815

To Rome with Love nce again the Museum is delighted to be part of the United States Department of State Art in Embassies Program. From now until 1996,fifteen works of art from the Museum's collections will be on view at the Villa Taverna, the official residence of the U.S. Ambassador to Italy, Reginald Bartholomew, and his wife, Rose-Anne. Mrs. Bartholomew worked closely with members of the Museum's staff, including Gerard Wertkin, Stacy Hollander, and Anne-Marie Reilly, to develop the exhibition and arrange for it to be transported safely to Rome. The objects were chosen for their diversity and to give the Italian audience a small sampling of the range of form that is encompassed by the term "American folk art." The

0

Oil on wood panel 34 . 18 1/4" Gift of Mrs. Jacob M. Kaplan, 1977.13.1

Explorers' Club in PA

T works include seven portraits, two landscapes, and six quilts. Among them are a charming portrait of a child with a basket, c. 1815, by an unknown artist probably from Maine, an Ocean Waves quilt made by Lydia Eash,from Middlebury,Ind., around 1930, and the 1975 painting Friends of Wildlife II, by New Orleans artist Philo Levi "Chief" Willey. A small bilingual catalog of the exhibition, produced by the Museum and funded by Ford Motor Company, will be available to visitors to the Villa.

A Photo Opportunity for Kids be photographed as the wellnSaturday, March 12, loved Girl in Red Dress with Cat and Sunday, March 20, and Dog or John Yonnie Luyster. youngsters between the The Museum's registrar, Annages of three and eight filled the Marie Reilly; assistant registrar, Museum to participate in activiJudy Steinberg; and weekend ties, demonstrations, games, and gallery manager, Alison hourly tours designed especially Eisendrath, organized the event, for them in conjunction with the posed the children, directed the exhibitions"Ammi Phillips: parents out of the way,and Fifty Years of American clicked the shutter. The color Portraiture" and "Northern photographs, which were taken Scenes: Hooked Art of the for a small fee (all other activiGrenfell Mission." ties were free), were mounted in Life-size replicas of two of souvenir frames for the children Ammi Phillips's most engaging and their families to enjoy for children's portraits (with the many years to come. Exhibitions faces cut out) stood in one corner intern Jennifer Wolfe acted as of the gallery and children lined staff photographer for Folk Art up to peer through the cutouts to and captured the fun for us.

0

70 SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

wenty-three Museum members received an intensive introduction to the history and folk art of the Pennsylvania-German culture on a five-day Folk Art Explorers' Club tour. The tour, conducted from April 13 through April 17, included visits to 11 private collections and 4 artists and craftsmen in Berks, Lebanon, and Lancaster counties. The group also enjoyed a home-cooked Pennsylvania-German lunch and three catered dinners in the homes of local members. Included on the itinerary were visits to several museums and historical societies, as well as special visits to the Black Angus Antiques Market in Adamstown and the Philadelphia Antiques Show. A highlight of

the trip was a tour of the Ephrata Cloister, one of the oldest communal villages in the country, and home to a devout,celibate religious community in the eighteenth century. Museum director Gerard C. Wertkin met the group at Ephrata and gave a lecture on the traditions and folk art of the Cloister community. We would like to thank the following people for helping to make the tour a resounding success: Lester Breininger; Boots Fehr; Dawson and Mary Gillaspy; Nancy Gingrich of the Stoy Museum; Sukey Harris; Dr. and Mrs. Robert Kline; Bates and Isabel Lowry; Dr. Robert Metzger, director of the Reading Public Museum;Patrick Reynolds, curator of the Berks County Historical Society; Barbara Strawser; Ron and Sandra Van Anda; George and Sue Viener; Irene and Billy Wolf. We would also like to entend our special thanks to Flip and Herman Imber for all their work in helping to create a full and exciting itinerary.


TRAVELING EXHIBITIONS

Mark your calendars for the following Museum of American Folk Art exhibitions when they travel to your area during the coming months: July 9—September 4, 1994 Revisiting Ammi Phillips: Fifty Years of American Portraiture San Diego Museum of Art San Diego, California 619/232-7931

October 9—December 31, 1994 Revisiting Ammi Phillips: Fifty Years of American Portraiture Terra Museum of American Art Chicago, Illinois 312/328-3402

July I6—September 4, 1994 Visiones del Pueblo: The Folk Art of Latin America Denver Art Museum and Museo de las Americas Denver, Colorado 303/640-2295 303/571-8504

October 16, 1994 —January 15. 1995 Visiones del Pueblo: The Folk Art of Latin America Toledo Art Museum Toledo, Ohio 419/255-8000

September 24—November 19, 1994 Quilts from America's Flower Garden: The Great American Quilt Festival 3 Blanden Memorial Art Museum Fort Dodge,Iowa 414/573-2316

January 14—March 12, 1995 Signs and Symbols: African Images in African-American Quilts from the Rural South Fort Wayne Museum of Art Fort Wayne,Indiana 219/422-6467

For further information, contact Judith Gluck Steinberg, Coordinator of Traveling Exhibitions, Museum of American Folk Art, Eva and Morris Feld Gallery,2 Lincoln Square, New York, NY 10023, 212/595-9533.

WILTON OUTDOOR ANTIQUES MARKETPLACE To Benefit Wilton Kiwanis Projects

June 25 & 26, Sat. & Sun 10-5 Admission $6.00 - with card/ad $5.00 Early Buying Sat. 8-10 A.M. Adm.$20 'The Meadows"North of Wilton High School

Route 7 Wilton, Ct. MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FOLK ART SUMMER PROGRAMS

The following free programs will be held at the Museum of American Folk Art's Eva and Morris Feld Gallery at 2 Lincoln Square, Columbus Avenue between 65th and 66th streets, New York: NEW YORK BEAUTIES: QUILTS FROM THE EMPIRE STATE Evening Lectures Tuesday, June 21,6:30-8:00 P.M. Evolution of Two Quiltmakers Marilyn Henrion and Yvonne Forman, quilt artists

Lunchtime exhibition tours Tuesdays at 12:00 P.M. July 12 and 26, and August 16

Tuesday, June 28,6:30-8:00 P.M. Out of the Trunk Judy Doenias, quilt artist Tattooed Mermaid Leslie Levison, quilt artist

OF GENERAL INTEREST Evening Slide Talks Wednesdays at 6:00 P.M. June 22—Visiones del Pueblo: The Folk Art of Latin America

Wednesday,July 27,6:30-7:30 P.M. Of Stitches and Stories: Tales of the New York Beauties Phyllis Tepper, Director, New York State Quilt Project; Lee Kogan, Research Coordinator, New York State Quilt Project; and Deborah Ash and Joan Bloom, Researchers

July 13—Twentieth-Century Folk Art: An Introduction to Contemporary American Folk Art

Thursdays at 1:00 P.M. June 30, July 21, and August 11 and 25

August 10— You're Never Too Old: Folk Art as a Second Career

A unique assemblage of 200 exhibitors from across the country, offering AUTHENTIC ANTIQUES,under tents, in a meadow in WILTON - the placefor quality shows. Eclectic...country and periodformalfurniture,folk art,fine art, ceramics, American Arts and Crafts and 20th century design, silver,jewelry, textiles, toys...and much more. Special events,afestival ofgoodfood,a spirit of"community". There's never been an outdoor show like this-quality, variety,a broad range ofpricesandattention topresentation...and some ofAmerica'sfinest dealers. Merritt Parkway: Exit 398 from the west Exit 41 from the east 1-95: Exit 15, north 8 miles •

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For more information,call the Folk Art Institute at 212/977-7170.

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 71


WARREN KIMBLE

AMERICAN FOLK ARTIST Frank Miele Gallery, New York, New York â&#x20AC;˘ Gallery on the Green, Woodstock, Vermont Warren Kimble Gallery and Studio, Brandon, Vermont, 802-247-3026

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VIEWS

(continuedfrom page 27) Face of the Gods: Art and Altars of Africa and the African

Looking for Leonardo: Naive and Folk Art Objects Found in America by Bates and Isabel

Americas, Robert Farris Thompson, The Museum for African Art, 1993, 334 pages, $39.50 softcover.

Lowry, Bates Lowry, University of Iowa Press, 1994, 116 pages, $24.95 softcover.

The Flag in American Indian Art,

Passionate Visions of the

Toby Herbst and Joel Kopp, New York State Historical Association and University of Washington Press, 1993, 120 pages,$24.95 softcover.

Present, Alice Rae Yelen, New Orleans Museum of Art, 1993, 352 pages, $35.00 softcover.

I Tell My Heart: The Art of Horace Pippin, by Judith E.

abouts Unknown: Make-Do Art

Stein, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in association with Universe Publishing, 1993,210 pages, $40.00 hardcover.

American South: Self-Taught Artists from 1940 to the

Unsigned, Unsung...Whereof the American Outlands, Jim

Roche, University of Washington Press, 1994,80 pages,$19.95 softcover.

These books are available at the Museum of American Folk Art Book and Gift Shops or through the Mail-Order Department. To order, call Beverly McCarthy at 212/977-7170.


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THE ARTIST OUTSIDER Creativity and the Boundaries of Culture

Calvin Black Sign from Possum Trot Environment x 12 house paint on wood ca. 1953-1972

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Edited by Michael D. Hall and Eugene W. Metcalf, Jr. "A fascinating guide to the timely debates which are shaping our view of art's value to society.... Modes that have traditionally been categorized as polar opposites are here questioned, reformulated, and presented as a fluid ground against which to examine larger Heinrich Antoit Muller's Personage with Long Hooked Nose, 7-1922. in gouache. crayon and pencil. Photo by Leo questions about the nature of a:r laTao art and culture in general."—Marcia Tucker, Director, The New Museum of Contemporary Art With essays by folklorists Michael Owen Jones and Charles G. Zug Ill and seventeen other contributors representing a variety of disciplines, The Artist Outsider presents both American and European views on outsider art, folk art, Art Brut, primitive art, women's art, ethnic art, avant-garde art, and other ardently debated art forms. 12 color, 72 la&ve illus. 296 pp. Cloth: I -56098-334-5H $60.00 Paper: i-56098-335-3P $29.95

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MUSEUM

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ALICE J. HOFFMAN AND MARYANN WARAKOMSKI

MUSEUM OF AMERICAN FOLK ART COLLECTION' Home Furnishings and Decorative Accessories To celebrate an American tradition—the craft ofthefolk artist— the Museum ofAmerican Folk Art has created a collection of home furnishings and decorative accessories honoring thisfine heritage. New Directions Welcome to Artwear,Inc., our newest licensee. Artwear,of Albuquerque, N.Mex.,is a Museum Store Association member and a leading manufacturer of activewear, T-shirts, and ties. Seven patriotic images— Patriotic Eagle, Flag Gate, Situation America 1848, Uncle Sam Riding a Bicycle, Sailing Ship "Sarah," and two commemorative flag quilt designs—are now available on Artwear Tshirts and sweatshirts. News From Museum Licensees * Rowe Pottery Works has introduced a limited edition of salt-glaze stoneware. Each exclusive collectible has a limited production of 5,000 pieces and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity and a product heritage card. Now available are a bake pot, utensil jar, 1 1/2-gallon crock, pitcher, mug, and three-piece graduatedcanister set. * Perfect Fit adds three designs. Inspired by quilts in the Museum's Permanent Collection, these machine-made bedcovers with coordinating bedskirts and pillow shams complement any setting. Look for Flower Pots, Crazy Quilt, and Museum Star this fall. All bedcovers are machine washable and made in America. The Baltimore Style Album Quilt and Double Wedding Ring Quilt bedcovers, highlighted in our Spring column, are now available at Bed Bath and Beyond and Rich's department stores and

through Montgomery Ward and Fingerhut catalogs. * Milton Bradley Company has expanded the market for their Discover America jigsaw puzzles. In addition to being available in North America and Canada, the puzzles are now sold throughout Mexico, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean Islands. * Dakotah,Inc. recently previewed a new line of throws, decorative pillows, and table linens. Look for them in this column in the Fall issue. * Lane/Venture has introduced four new pieces of wicker furniture. These authenticated reproductions include an octagonal dining/game table, a sideboard, a writing desk/vanity, and a dining/desk/vanity chair. Special Events

Takashimaya Co., Ltd.,the Museum's exclusive licensee in Japan, has planned a year of special events highlighting the 10th anniversary of this creative partnership. In 1984 the Museum and Takashimaya embarked on a remarkable venture to bring the diverse and wonderful traditions of American folk art to audiences throughout Japan. Takashimaya has long been recognized for the superb quality of its products, and it is our privilege to have them manufacture and distribute a wide variety of decorative home accessories that faithfully capture the spirit of America. Through Takashimaya, the Museum has been able to bring the message of American

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folk art to the Japanese people, and we are privileged to have many Japanese members and friends who learned of the Museum through this vital link. As we celebrate this important milestone, we look forward to a future filled with prosperity and continued opportunities. Raffle winner! Ruth Jeffery of Massapequa, N.Y., won the House Quilt, created and donated to the Museum by the Long Island Quilters Society. This quilt was on view from November 1993 through March 1994 in Levitz furniture stores in Garden City, Farmingdale, and Smithtown, N.Y. Gerard C. Wertkin, the Museum's director, drew the winning name. We congratulate Ruth Jeffery and thank all those who participated. Dear Customer: If you have ever purchased Museum-licensed products, we would appreciate hearing from you. We can be

reached at 212/977-7170. Your purchase of these licensed products directly benefits the Museum. We thank you for contributing to the Museum's continuing efforts to serve and expand the public's knowledge. Family of Licensees Abbeville Press(212/888-1969) gift wrap, book/gift tags, quilt note cube.* Artwear, Inc. (800/551-9945)activewear, T-shirts, and ties. Dakotah, Inc.(800/325-6824) decorative pillows, table linens, woven throws, chair pads. Galison Books(212/354-8840) note cards, address book, puzzle, holiday cards.* Hedgerow House Inc.(407/998-0756) posters.* The Lane Company,Inc., including Lane/Venture and Clyde Pearson (800/447-4700)furniture (case goods, wicker, upholstered furniture). Milton Bradley Company (413/525-6411)jigsaw puzzles.* Mirage Editions,Inc.(800/423-6345) art posters.* Perfect Fit Industries(704/289-1531) machine made in America printed bedcovers and coordinated bedroom products. Rose Art Industries(800/CRAYONS)toys (dolls),jigsaw puzzles, hobby kits.* Rowe Pottery Works (608/764-5435)Pennsylvania redware (microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe).* Takashimaya Company,Ltd.(212/350-0550) home furnishings accessories and furniture (available only in Japan). Tyndale,Inc. (312/384-0800)lighting and lampshades. *Available in Museum of American Folk Art Book and Gift Shops. For mail-order information, contact Beverly McCarthy at 212/977-7170.

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 77


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SOUTHERN FOLK EXPRESSIONS V Three Shows In Rabun County, Georgia July 23 August 13, 1994 Featuring Work By Over 60 Artists

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SOUTH CAROLINA

GEORGIA

Gallery Hours: 10:00 am. - 5:00 p.m. Sunday: 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

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"From Folk Art to Formal Furniture" Diverse • Authentic • Guaranteed Antiques lovers from aficionados to newly-indoctrinated novices will have the opportunity to view and purchase from this incredibly diverse collection of selected antiques from the 18th through the early 20th century . . . guaranteed for their authenticity by 65 outstanding and highly-respected dealers from across the country. The beautifully displayed room settings will encourage you to browse in the relaxed, comfortable and friendly New England atmosphere. Come, celebrate and participate in New Hampshire's first "Antiques Week." New Hampshire State Armory Canal Street • Manchester, NH (located just off 1-293, Exit 6)

Thursday, August II • 2 pm - 9 pm Friday, August 12 • 9 am - 4 pm

Travel Info: 800-359-8638 Show & "Antiques Week" Info: 603-669-2911 Free Shuttle to Center of NH Admission: $5.00

Toys - Oriental Rugs - Prints - Silver - Pewter - Shaker

ANTIQUES SHOW

Formal Furniture - Folk Art - Porcelain - Ceramics - Country Furniture - Iron - Estate Jewelry - Quilts - Photography - Paintings

SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART 79


HILL GALLERY

163 TOWNSEND BIRMINGHAM, MICHIGAN 48009 (810) 540-9288

RALPH FASANELLA INDEX

TO

NIGHT GAME-YANKEE STADIUM

1981

ADVERTISERS

3,17,19 America Hurrah 2 American Antiques, Inc. 22 The American Collector, Ltd. 32 Americana Antiques 11 American Primitive Gallery 16 The Ames Gallery Antiques Dealers' Association of America 72 Artisans 65 Robert Cargo Folk Art Gallery 15 78 Clary Sage Gallery Country Living Magazine Inside Back Cover Crane Hill Publishers 69 Double K Gallery 21 East Meets West/Lewis Keister 6 Epstein/Powell 20 Famous Folk 30,61 64 Josh Feldstein 12 Janet Fleisher Gallery The Folk Art Gallery 74 58 Folk Fest '94 Folk Portraits, Etc. 78 23 Galerie Bonheur 76 Gallery Americana

SO SUMMER 1994 FOLK ART

60 X 73"

33 Sidney Gecker American Folk Art Back Cover Giampietro 31 Gilley's Gallery Anton Haardt Gallery 26 21 Carl Hammer Gallery John C. Hill 65 Hill Gallery 80 Stephen Huneck Gallery 73 Huntington Museum of Art 24 23 Lynne Ingram Southern Folk Art Paul Jacobsen 76 72 Warren Kimble Knoke Galleries 75 Richard E. Kramer & Associates 27 Kurts Bingham Gallery 10 The Liberty Tree 65 Jim Linderman 74 31 Leon Loard Gallery 71 MCG Antiques Promotions,Inc. 33 Main Street Antiques and Art Mia Gallery 63 Frank J. Miele Gallery Inside Front Cover Steve Miller 1

Leslie Muth Gallery Ann Nathan Gallery The Pardee Collection J.E. Porcelli Revival Promotions,Inc. Roger Ricco/Frank Maresca Riverside Antiques Show Rosehips Gallery Jack Savitt Gallery Smithsonian Institution Press Southern Folk Expressions V The Splendid Peasant, Ltd. The Tartt Gallery Nancy Thomas University Art Museum Wanda's Quilts Webb Folk Art Gallery Marcia Weber/Art Objects, Inc. David Wheatcroft Thos. K. Woodard Ginger Young Zak Gallery

18 75 25 28 69 9 79 64 78 74 79 14 7 61 30 68 67 22 29 4 26 28


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AMERICA'S LARGEST AND FAVORITE SHOWCASE FOR ANTIQUES AND FOLK ART A publication of Hearst Magazines, a division of The Hearst Corporation. C 1992 The Hearst Corporation.


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A view of Montgomery County, Pennsylvania Almshouse by Charles Hofmann, oil on canvas,signed and dated 1878. 31 x 45 inches.

When in Manhattan, please visit our new Gallery: 50 East 78th Street New York City 10021 212-861-8571 • By Appointment

IN CONNECTICUT •153 1 /2 Bradley Street • New Haven, CT 06511 • Telephone: 203-787-3851


Folk Art (Summer 1994)