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American Folk Art Museum

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by Jessica Mousseau (subscribe)
Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at: www.jessicamousseau.com.
Published June 18th 2011


Folk art is described as art that had its origins among the common people (as opposed to the elite, wealthy, royalty, etc.) of a nation or region. In other words, folk art came from the ordinary things that people used in their everyday lives, as well as those things used for special occasions. The people who made them usually had no formal training in any type of art; they just knew how to do what they did.

If you're still not sure exactly what folk art is, come visit the American Folk Art Museum. You'll see displays and exhibits that will give you a deeper understanding of folk art, and the people who created it.

How many years does the folk art in the Museum include?

The American Folk Art Museum has been operating since 1961. This means that you will see exhibits and displays from four decades. Each decade has its own unique exhibits and displays. You'll actually be able to trace the cultural and regional changes that took place in America during these time periods.

What are some of the exhibits and displays I'll see?

In the first decade exhibits (1961-1971), you'll see a lot of items that were three-dimensional. At that time, this was considered "cutting edge", so a great deal of emphasis was placed on objects that fit this category. In the second decade (1971-1981), you'll see exhibits that were donated by Robert Bishop, the director of the museum during that time period. These included quilts and other types of textile works.

Mr. Bishop also managed to fill out his collection by appealing to friends and others for contributions of folk art. Their donations made for a very eclectic but very interesting collection. This is just a sample of the things you'll see. Around every corner, as you pass through each decade, you'll discover new and exciting things in every genre of folk art that you can imagine.

The American Folk Art Museum is open Tuesday-Sunday from 10:30 AM until 5:30 PM, although closing time on Friday is extended until 7:30 PM. Admission is very reasonable, so this is a good budget-friendly outing for your family.

The main Museum has a café and both museums have gift shops. You can walk around the exhibits and then look in the gift shop to see if any of your favorites are replicated on poster art or other merchandise. If so, you can purchase it so that you'll have a little piece of the American Folk Art Museum with you always.
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Why? Because museums are great in New York
When: Whenever museum is open
Where: American Folk Art Museum
Cost: Depends
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