at the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum
We the People: American Folk Portraits
In this anniversary year, the Folk Art Museum celebrates with a new exhibition featuring a wonderful collection of American folk portraits. One of the first folk art pieces Mrs. Rockefeller acquired was a charming painting of a child. From there, her collection grew. On view will be images of children with their favorite pet or toy, companion portraits of husband and wife, and paintings of individuals. These early American folk portraits are treasured for their historical significance as well as their aesthetic appeal. Without folk painters, the faces of many members of the middle and, sometimes, lower classes would not have been recorded. The portraits reveal much about ordinary people: how they lived, what they valued, and how they wished to be remembered. Folk portraits give us glimpses of the countless people who shaped America as vitally and lastingly as her better known movers and shakers. The artists too left something of themselves. They did not achieve their occupation through formal guidance or direction from others but, instead, through inborn talent and intuition. On view will be old favorites from the collections as well as new acquisitions never before exhibited. This exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Don and Elaine Bogus.
Opening May 6, 2017 in the Clark Gallery
America's Folk Art
2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the oldest museum in the country devoted to American folk art. America's Folk Art celebrates not only six decades of the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum, but also pays tribute to Mrs. Rockefeller who began collecting folk art in the 1920s. Her keen eye and appreciation for the art of the common man created a collection of over 400 pieces that were eventually given to Colonial Williamsburg. Over the ensuing years, the collection has grown to over 4000 objects that date from the 18th century to the present day. An array of folk art will be on display showcasing highlights from the collection. This exhibition serves as an introduction to the other ten galleries filled with portraits, quilts, sculpture, musical instruments, toys, and weathervanes.
Opening July 1, 2017 in the Spayth Gallery