Art school isn’t everything—there’s natural talent as well as slow, hard work and trial and error. You can see more than 7,000 works by people who took art into their own hands at American Folk Art Museum. Through the art, you can dive into the culture of a time and of a place, or tap into the zeitgeist of people not always heard. Often the materials or medium are experimental, brushstrokes unschooled, even timid. But that’s the lovely part, that the personality of the artist dances nearby. The current exhibit at the museum, “Vestiges & Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic,” is epic in itself. It’s showing for the first time 250 works by 21 newly discovered folk artists. Before now, these pieces haven’t been seen. If you’re looking to expand your knowledge of culture and place, and understand how the self-instructed worked and learned, many stories are being told through art but also through their manuscripts, journals, and collages that are part of the exhibit ending May 27.
Jean-Daniel Allanche (1940, Tunisia–2015, France); untitled (casino cards “Burkina Faso”) (double-sided); Achilles G. Rizzoli (1896–1982, United States). Courtesy American Folk Art Museum/ Galerie Hervé Perdriolle, Paris
Detail of A.C.E.—AMTE’s Celestial Extravag(r)anza (sheet #313 of a 325-page manuscript, unbound). Courtesy American Folk Art Museum/ Adam Reich
Featured Image: Henry Darger (1892–1973, United States); detail of 106. AT SUNBEAM CREEK (double-sided). Courtesy American Folk Art Museum/ James Prinz