The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Wednesday, May 23, 2018

New York City's American Folk Art Museum celebrates optimistic future with 50th anniversary
Vestie Davis, Luna Park, 1964. Oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in. Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York. Photo: Gavin Ashworth, New York.

NEW YORK (AP).- The American Folk Art Museum, long plagued by financial problems, is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a new exhibition, renewed optimism for its future and its collection intact.

At a preview of a new exhibition celebrating its anniversary Tuesday, museum officials discussed its financial status and projection of its future.

The museum in September received a $2 million pledge from a longtime trustee and an additional $1 million commitment from other trustees and supporters, said Monty Blanchard Jr., president of the museum board of trustees. Those pledges gave the museum "significant runway to continue the operations of the museum and built it to new heights of artistic greatness," Blanchard said.

In addition, he said, the museum has received $500,000 from the Ford Foundation.

As late as this summer, the board had been in discussions about possibly turning its collection over to another institution but with the goal of keeping it in New York City.

But "the pledges and other money we had put us in a financially solvent position," Blanchard said. "The pledges provided that ballast for future operations" and allowed the museum to make the decision to remain independent.

He identified the long-term trustee as Joyce B. Cowin.

The museum, founded in 1961, houses traditional folk art dating to the 18th century, including 5,000 quilts, weather vanes, textiles, sculptures, paintings and decorative arts in a 6,000-square-foot space in Lincoln Square, across from Lincoln Center. It also has a large collection of works by self-taught artists, including thousands of drawings, watercolors and unpublished manuscripts by Henry Darger.

The institution has faced financial challenges for a long time but they took a turn for the worse in 2009 when it defaulted on a $32 million debt. The museum had taken out the money to build a new midtown Manhattan museum, on the same block as the Museum of Modern Art.

To pay off the debt, it sold the building to MoMA in July, but continued operating at its Lincoln Square branch, a location it has owned since 1989.

The folk art museum is searching for a new director and recently added a new member to its board of trustees. It anticipates adding up to two other new members by June. Several previous members had left during its financial trials.

The museum's other strategic plans include long-term loans to other institutions and collaborative arrangements with other museums.

"Our first goal is 'get the art out there,' to develop collaborative opportunities for positioning the art that we love within or with other institutions," Blanchard said.

The museum currently has 14 iconic pieces on extended loan at the Metropolitan Museum of Art's new American Wing galleries for paintings, sculptures and decorative arts.

A traveling exhibit, "Kaleidoscope Quilts: The Art of Paula Nadelstern" will be shown at Endicott College in Massachusetts in the spring. A number of other works are currently on loan at the Hancock Shaker Village in Pittsfield, Mass., and the museum is in active talks about a possible exhibition this summer of works from its collection at the South Street Seaport Museum.

"These are examples of activities we are doing to fulfill our mission of getting our art out there," Blanchard said.

He said there are no plans to reduce staff and, in fact, once a new director is hired, the number will probably rise and the museum will embark on a longer-term fundraising plan that would involve raising endowment money.

Blanchard anticipates operating costs to range from $2.5 million to $3 million annually.

The anniversary exhibition that opened Tuesday, "Jubilation/Rumination: Life, Real and Imagined," features nearly 100 highlights that represent the scope of traditional folk art and outsider art, or works by self-taught artists.

It includes a Darger illustration, "Gigantic Roverine with Young" from his 15,000-page manuscript, "In the Realms of the Unreal," and a metaphorical self-portrait by Nellie Mae Rowe titled, "Cow Jump Over the Mone."

"We have been ruminating on our past," he said, referring to the exhibition title. "But we are jubilant about our future and the art that we present."



Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Today's News

January 18, 2012

Olympian world of the Greek gods is recreated at the Roman-Germanic Museum in Cologne

British scientists find scores of 'lost' Charles Darwin fossils in an old wooden cabinet

Miami Art Museum receives $1 million grant for the collection of Contemporary art

Sotheby's to sell exceptional private collection of fresh-to-market drawings by Lucian Freud

Egyptian and Swiss archaeologists find rare tomb of woman in Egypt's Valley of Kings

Italian Old Masters in New York: Glowing gold-ground works offered by Moretti Fine Art

France in miniature, sixteen scale models of fortified towns under the great glass roof of the Grand Palais

Cleveland's Rock Hall of Fame and Museum opens new library and archives to public

Exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by Gary Hume at White Cube

Haggerty Museum of Art at Marquette University presents four new exhibitions

Bridgeman Art Library announces representation of the Father Brown Collection taken on the Titanic

"Enrico David: Head Gas" features new body of work for the artist's first New York presentation

New York City's American Folk Art Museum celebrates optimistic future with 50th anniversary

World's largest ArtPrize announces 2012 artist/venue registration dates

New heArt CitY Gallery in Paris presents Jerome Revon's New York

Life of animation director Chuck Jones to be celebrated with The Chuck Jones Experience at Circus Circus

Heritage Auctions' Orlando FUN currency event realizes $8.4+ Million

Edgar Allan Poe fans: Last vigil for mystery man

New York City man gets jail for fake Hirst print appraisals

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Boy and an amateur archaeologist unearth legendary Danish king's trove in Germany

2.- Exhibition at The Met illustrates what visitors encountered at The palace of Versailles

3.- Philadelphia Museum of Art opens "Modern Times: American Art 1910-1950"

4.- Exhibition at Michael Hoppen Gallery presents a cross-section of works from Thomas Mailaender's career

5.- New York's Chelsea Hotel celebrity door auction raises $400,000

6.- Stevie Ray Vaughan's first guitar drives Entertainment & Music Memorabilia Auction to nearly $2.9 million

7.- Lichtenstein's Nude with Blue Hair tops $2.4 million sale of Modern & Contemporary Prints & Multiples

8.- $6.7 million Fancy Intense Blue Diamond sets auction record at Sotheby's New York

9.- Mexico court blocks sales of controversial Frida Kahlo Barbie doll

10.- Dutch museums to conduct new research on the paintings of Pieter de Hooch

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful