Friday, January 11, 2008

"Passed"...and Current Art Form of the Day

~Folk Art~
Art originating among the common people of a nation or region and usually reflecting their traditional culture, especially everyday or festive items produced or decorated by unschooled artists.

Simply put, that is the definition of folk art. Most folk art tends to be applied art, or artistic items that were made for a practical use, such as pottery. And in the culture of Early America, folk art reflects their "rugged existence" as they made "with their hands the objects they used in their daily lives."*
The Museum of American Folk Art, (which I would LOVE to visit someday), has divided folk art into categories:
1)Paintings~ works of art made with paint, pencil, ink, pastels, watercolor and applied to a flat surface.
2)Sculpture~ three-dimensional objects, usually made of wood, clay, stone, metals or marble.
3) Textiles~ spun or woven fabric decorated with stitching or other handwork.
4) Household Objects~ handcrafted items and utensils used in everyday life.

Folk artist were usually self-taught, and some grew so skilled in their craft that they were recognized as masters of their craft. These folk artists were everyday people, "the working class", who needed to work to provide for their families, and used their skills to do so. For example, a carpenter might use his skills to carve items to sell in his off-season. Or a sign painter might paint a portrait to earn extra money. Folk artists were also school children who practiced calligraphy which might be needed later in life in business.

Until industrialization came along, folk art was used to fill a need, such as warmth (floor cloths, woven textiles), teach the alphabet (samplers), or even to carry water (pottery). Another attribute of folk art is that it was not made by was all hand made, and one of a kind.

Do you have folk art in your home? Please share!

The rains have washed away most of our snow and sunnier weather is predicted for us. I think I may miss the snow, lol! Have a wonderful weekend!!

References: "Discovering American Folk Art" Cynthia V.A. Schaffner © 1991*
Museum of American Folk Art, New York
"Girl in Red Dress with Cat and Dog" portrait by Ammi Phillips (1830-35)
"Bird of Paradise" Quilt
Stoneware Churn (1870)


Donna said...

Great post on folk art! I guess you could say hubby and I do a lot of folk art. He loves woodworking and I love painting!
Have a great day!
Donna :)

Sunnie said...

Hi Suzanne! I would love to visit the Folk Art Museum too...what a treat! We have many folk art pieces in our little home and enjoy each one of them. When I collect something it mostly tends to be whimsical...but that's because I have a wacky sense of humor!!! (Thank goodness Husband has a sense of humor too or he wouldn't have married Me!!!!!) LOL

Oh yes, your miniatures are delightful and isn't it fun when something takes you in a different direction than you were thinking you'd go? I love that when it happens to me!!
Hugs to you, Sunnie : )

Lorraine said...

"Do you have folk art in your home"...

Well, there's the sweet portrait my sister-in-law painted. Oh, and the tromp l'oeil wine bottle aforementioned SIL painted in my dining room (she really is very talented).

I also have a crucifix from Mexico that I think would qualify...

the feathered nest said...

Wonderfully informative as always! The sun is shining here too after a rainy stormy day yesterday.

Have a great weekend!


Lana said...

Swing down south and pick me up Suzanne ~ We can go to the museum together!

Miss Maddie's said...

Fortunately I am surrounded by folk art in the textile form; quilts, samplers, hooked rugs... I post pictures of them now and again.
What I find most intriguing about it is the history or lineage that I research for each piece.A sampler I have is dated 1756 and has allowed me back in time through three centuries, two continents and a long list of names to reveal it's secrets.
Once again Suzanne you have inspired us to see and respect the objects that surround us.Thankyou.

Doreen said...

Hello Suzanne. Thank you so much for visiting my blog..I will add you to my list :)

This is a great post. Very informative! I too would love to visit the Museum.

Love your work!


CARole said...

Good morning, Suzanne. I wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading this post. I keep telling my husband I want to go to the Folk Art Museum, but we never seem to take the time to do it. Thanks for reminding me. Maybe this will be the year. btw, I used to own a print of the girl and cat, but over the years it has gone and I can't remember what happened to it. I probably sold it! Sometimes I get in a crazy mood and do things I regret. I think this was one of them. Darn!

Anonymous said...

Nice post. I got to know some new things about folk art. The everyday life that you can see in the Folk Art makes it very special. I like the paintings that tell the tales of the kings.