What Exactly Is Folk Art? A Primer On The Genre That’s Felt With The Heart

Most fine art genres have defining aesthetic characteristics that identify themselves as such — Realism is realistic, Cubism has cubes, Pop art pops. Even those that aren’t quite so clear — Surrealism, Impressionism, Modernism, Op Art — can be explained with a specific intention, influence, era or methodology.

And then there is folk art. The umbrella term applies as much to a textile made in 17th century Africa as a DIY ceramic piece for sale on Etsy. The dominant identifying factor of folk art is probably its distance from the academic mainstream. However, other (similarly murky) categories such as self-taught art and outsider art share such a classification too. The description of “not academic” certainly fails to describe and encompass the wide and wild range of folk art possibilities.

To settle this dilemma, we reached out to Stephanie Knappe and Catherine Futter, both curators at the Nelson-Atkins Museum

Article source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/05/04/folk-art-shared-legacy_n_7174846.html

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