American Folk Art Museum Launches Nationwide Exhibition Tour

  • NEW YORK, New York
  • /
  • June 20, 2021

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reedom Quilt; Jessie B. Telfair (1913–1986); Parrott, Georgia⁠ 1983; Cotton, with pencil; 74 x 68 in.; Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York; Gift of Judith Alexander in loving memory of her sister, Rebecca Alexander, 2004.9.1⁠⠀ Photo by Gavin Ashworth⁠⠀

As part of its 60th anniversary activities, and in partnership with over a dozen cultural organizations across the United States, the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) has launched a traveling tour of four self-originated exhibitions—all of which are drawn from the Museum’s collection. From the spring of 2021 through June 2024, these exhibitions will open at museums located in Florida, Connecticut, Utah, Texas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Washington, Indiana, Kansas, New York, Tennessee, North Carolina, Maine, and Mississippi. Each exhibition will feature a variety of works of historic folk art and modern and contemporary self-taught art. 

“As we celebrate the American Folk Art Museum’s 60th anniversary from our home in New York, we’re thrilled to share our collection with organizations and audiences across the United States,” said Jason T. Busch, Director and CEO. “AFAM represents the creativity, ingenuity, and resourcefulness of self-taught artists across time and place, many of whom have made an impact on the cultural and artistic histories of America from the eighteenth century to the present.”

The coordinating curator for the tour is Emelie Gevalt, AFAM’s Curator of Folk Art. Gevalt commented: “Sharing scholarship with colleagues and the public has been a vital part of the Museum’s mission for 60 years. These compelling exhibitions will connect the Museum’s collection to new audiences, significantly expanding the nationwide appreciation of art.” 

The Museum wishes to thank curators Stacy C. Hollander, Sarah Marglois-Pineo, and Aimee Newell, each of whom played a significant role in organizing these exhibitions. 

The exhibitions and their venus are noted below. 

American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Collection 

The exhibition features over 80 objects, from paintings and pottery, to quilts, needlework, and sculpture. These artworks span the entirety of our nation’s history, offering first-hand testimony to the people, places, and events that have defined and shaped American culture. 

Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan 

May 22 - August 28, 2021

Vero Beach Museum of Art, Vero Beach, Florida

October 2, 2021 - January 2, 2022

The Cummer Museum of Art, Jacksonville, Florida

February 2, 2022 - May 22, 2022

Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis, Tennessee, 

July 30, 2023 - October 8, 2023

The tour of American Perspectives  is sponsored by the Art Bridges Foundation

Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts 

Spanning the nineteenth to twenty-first centuries, this exhibition invites the public to read quilts as maps, tracing the paths of individual histories that illuminate larger historic events and cultural trends. The tour of Handstitched Worlds was organized with the support of International Art and Artists. 

Leigh Yawkey Woodson Museum, Wausau, Wisconsin 

June 12, 2021 - August 29, 2021

Washington State Historical Society, Tacoma, Washington 

September 17 2021 - Jan. 23 2022 

Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, Utah 

February 19, 2022 – May 14, 2022

Fort Wayne Museum of Art, Fort Wayne, Indiana 

June 18, 2022 – September 11, 2022

Dane G. Hansen Memorial Museum, Logan, Kansas

February 17, 2023 – May 14, 2023

Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, Laurel, Mississippi

January 30, 2024 – April 21, 2024 

Wall Power! Spectacular Quilts from the American Folk Art Museum 

Ranging across time and place from the mid-nineteenth to the late twentieth centuries, from Alabama to Pennsylvania, this exhibition highlights quilts from a period of craft revival designs developed by Amish communities, examples by African American makers, and traditional patterns that formed a foundation for generations of quiltmakers to come. 

The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York 

June 21, 2021 - September 26, 2021

Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Gift to the American Folk Art Museum

Through arcane and alluring artifacts such as grave markers, serpent-headed staffs, richly embroidered textiles, and ceremonial regalia, this exhibition showcases the “golden age” of American secret societies, when folk art and decorative art were brought together to confer a sense of legacy, status, and belonging in a newly established country. The exhibition is drawn from a curated collection donated to the American Folk Art Museum by Kendra and Allan Daniel. 

Bullock Texas State History Museum, Austin, Texas 

November 13, 2021 – March 27, 2022


Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut

May 29, 2022 – September 4, 2022 

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

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