The American Folk Art Museum is one of the leading institutions dedicated to the exhibition and preservation of folk art. From 18th and 19th century paintings, quilts, and sculptures to the dynamic work of contemporary self-taught artists, the museum’s extraordinary collection reveals the spectrum of American expression.
The museum believes that "folk art captures the heart of American culture. It speaks to diversity of heritage and shared national experience, individual creativity and community values." The museum's collection of more than 4,000 artworks span three centuries of American visual expression, from unflinching portraits, dazzling quilts, and muscular weathervanes to potent works by contemporary self-taught artists in a variety of mediums.
Aside from frequent special exhibitions, the Museum offers two permanent collections:
The Contemporary Center
Formed in 1997, the center is dedicated to the preservation and exhibition of works by 20th- and 21st-century self-taught artists. Of particular note is the Henry Darger Study Center of the American Folk Art Museum. The center is guided by a belief that self-taught artists, with special reference to those highly gifted individuals who are identified with the field of art brut or "outsider" art, have created a powerful and moving but frequently unacknowledged body of work that is essential to a full understanding of the art and culture of the world.
Houses many examples of notable self-taught artists and outsider art. In particular, works by Henry Darger, Howard Finster, John Bell and others.
Also on permanent display at the AFAM is the The National Tribute Quilt. The quilt represents the response of the Steel Quilters of United States Steel Corporation to the events of September 11, 2001. This small quilt club conceived the monumental undertaking, ultimately receiving quilt blocks from all fifty states as well as Canada, Spain, Australia, and Denmark. The quilt measures eight feet high by 30 feet wide, and is constructed of 3,466 blocks in six panels. The four central panels form a montage of the twin towers of the World Trade Center against the New York City skyline. These are flanked by panels dedicated to the lives extinguished on the four flights and at the Pentagon. Each three-inch-square block bears the name of one person who perished in the disaster.
Telephone: (222) 595-9533
Address: 2 Lincoln Square
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