Made in New York City

Since my studies in graduate school in the 90s, I have always thought of American folk art as belonging to folklore culture, created in the countryside, in rural communities living far from the mainstream of the art world, by those trained in popular crafts. But, after visiting the new show ‘Made in New York City: The Business of Folk Art’ at the American Folk Art Museum, I have completely changed my mind. The fascinating show, by guest-curator Elizabeth V. Warren who is not only a lifelong collector of this material and an expert on quilts, but also worked on developing this show for a decade, is meant to do just this. To break the myth that folk art is a rural genre. It demonstrates that folk art had been created in New York City since the 18th century, that it was used in urban households, and that generated a substantial business transactions. What is common to all 100-something works on view is that were all created by self-taught artists living and working in Manhattan.  

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