American Folk Art Museum Rings in 2012 with New Exhibit, Major Donations

  • January 20, 2012 12:54

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Courtesy American Folk Art Museum
Courtesy American Folk Art Museum

A recent $3.5 million in gifts is allowing the American Folk Art Museum to keep its doors open in Lincoln Square on New York's Upper West Side.

Last week, a new exhibit opened, "Jubilation/Rumination, Life: Real and Imagined," in the 5,000 square foot space. The 100-piece exhibit is drawn from the permanent collection and features works by Henry Darger, Martin Ramirez, and Vestie Davis.

Fourteen of the museum's most famous pieces are currently on loan to the Metropolitan Museum of Art for the debut of its new American Wing.


Just last year, the American Folk Art Museum sold its West 53rd Street building to MoMA, for $31.2 million, due to missed debt payments. Selling the building has allowed the museum to lessen the debt load, and now, with lower facilities costs, contributions can go to programming.

Donations helped the 50-year-old museum keep its collections intact when the possibility of dispersal arose last fall.

Recently, philanthropist Joyce Berger Cowin pledged $2 million to the museum, and other trustees another $1 million. For the time being the American Folk Art Museum is reasonably secure.

Courtesy American Folk Art Museum

Though their new space is rent-free, due to zoning laws the museum is not allowed to charge admission.

To support the museum, and its treausres of American art and history, donations can be made through a free toolbar, or the Pass the Hat campaign, among other easy ways. Visit the American Folk Art Museum site

(Report: Alisa Alexander for ARTFIXdaily)

Tags: folk art

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