American Folk Art Museum Symposium Points of Interest: New Approaches to American Weathervanes Will Be Held on October 24, 2021

  • NEW YORK, New York
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  • October 07, 2021

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Photo by Olya Vysotskaya

(New York, New York, October 3, 2021) On Sunday, October 24, the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) will host the inaugural Elizabeth and Irwin Warren Folk Art Symposium, Points of Interest: New Approaches to American Weathervanes. Bringing together a range of scholars, this free symposium will be presented virtually and showcase new research examining the rich, timely, and complex layers of meaning found in works of art featured in American Weathervanes: The Art of the Winds. American Weathervanes, which is on view through January 2, 2022, is guest curated by Robert Shaw and coordinated by Emelie Gevalt, Curator of Folk Art and Curatorial Chair of Collections, with additional interpretation by consulting scholar Joseph Zordan.

Weathervanes have historically served as both tools for farmers, sailors, and others to predict the wind’s direction, and fanciful, imaginative forms designed to captivate and delight viewers from below. This symposium, which will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., will feature presenters who will speak to the production, collection, and interpretation of artworks from both American Weathervanes and beyond, situating weathervanes within broader artistic, cultural, and socio-historical contexts.

Symposium presenters and topics are as follows: Susan P. Schoelwer, Ph.D., Executive Director, Historic Preservation and Collections and Robert H. Smith Senior Curator, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, George Washington’s Dove of Peace: An Iconic Vane from a Moment of Change; Katherine Fein, Ph.D Candidate, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Columbia University, The Ecological Spectacle of Madison Square Garden’s Diana; Laura Turner Igoe, Ph.D., Chief Curator, James A. Michener Art Museum, Weathered Wood: The Materiality of Early American Weathervanes; Elizabeth McGoey, Ph.D., Ann S. and Samuel M. Mencoff Associate Curator, Arts of the Americas, The Art Institute of Chicago, Winds of Change in the 1930s: Weathervanes, the Index of American Design, and Questioning Artistic Canon Formation; Olivia Armandroff, Ph.D. Student, Art History, University of Southern California, Isamu Noguchi’s Weathervanes: An Artist Animates the Wind; William D. Moore, Ph.D., Director, American & New England Studies Program and Associate Professor of American Material Culture, History of Art & Architecture, Boston University, Weathervanes and Double Consciousness: History, Provenance, & the Folk Art Canon.

The symposium, which is free to the public, will feature remarks from Emelie Gevalt and Robert Shaw.

Read the abstracts of the speaker’s presentations in advance of the symposium.

American Weathervanes: The Art of the Winds is presented through January 2, 2022, at the Museum’s location at 2 Lincoln Square, New York, NY.

This program is made possible through the support of Elizabeth and Irwin Warren.

Major support for American Weathervanes: The Art of the Winds is provided by Julie Lindberg, with additional support by the American Folk Art Society, Deborah Davenport and Stewart Stender, David Davies and Jack Weeden Fund for Exhibitions, Michael Del Castello, the Stacy C. Hollander Fund for Exhibitions, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature, the Dorothea and Leo Rabkin Foundation, and the Council for Traditional Folk Art.


About the American Folk Art Museum

The American Folk Art Museum engages people of all backgrounds through its collections, exhibitions, publications, and programs as the leading forum shaping the understanding and appreciation of folk and self-taught art across time and place. The Museum is celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2021. 

Christopher Gorman
American Folk Art Museum

American Folk Art Museum
2 Lincoln Square, New York, New York
New York, New York

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