Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Need More Folk Art?

By: Paul D'Ambrosio PhD, Vice President and Chief Curator
Although I have been a contributor to the main Fenimore Art Museum blog for the past few months, it has always been in the back of my mind to devote an entire blog to a subject that has been my passion and my specialty for more than 25 years: American folk art. Recently, I decided to start a blog just for my graduate course in American folk art for the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Museum Studies. This seemed like a good way to foster communication among the students but also to share some of the interesting stories and experiences gleaned from 27 years of working with our renowned collection of American folk art.

Once I had this focus, the floodgates opened up. I immediately wrote down a list of about 50 blog posts that could be done without even doing research. And the stories were, shall we say, often quite colorful: folk masterpieces uncovered in the walls of a Marblehead, Massachusetts home; arcane allusions to Amazon warriors in a painting of a mermaid; portraits done by an artist while he was on the run from the law; and much more.

It occurred to me quite quickly that this blog might have broader interest than just the graduate students. And so my new blog, http://folkartcooperstown.blogspot.com/, was born. Please take a minute to check it out. You’ll get a new perspective on some artworks and artists you thought you knew, learn a lot of new things you hadn’t heard before, and gain a new appreciation of the creativity of ordinary men and women across the country. You might even have some great folk art stories to share. Either way, this blog will open your eyes to the art that is all around us.

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