folk art

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folk art,

the art works of a culturally homogeneous people produced by artists without formal training. The forms of such works are generally developed into a tradition that is either cut off from or tenuously connected to the contemporary cultural mainstream. Folk art often involves craft processes, e.g., in America, quiltingquilting,
form of needlework, almost always created by women, most of them anonymous, in which two layers of fabric on either side of an interlining (batting) are sewn together, usually with a pattern of back or running (quilting) stitches that hold the layers together.
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 and sculpture of ships' figureheadsfigurehead,
carved decoration usually representing a head or figure placed under the bowsprit of a ship. The art is of extreme antiquity. Ancient galleys and triremes carried rostrums, or beaks, on the bow to ram enemy vessels.
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, cigar-store figures, and carousel animals. Paintings in the tradition of primitivismprimitivism,
in art, the style of works of self-trained artists who develop their talents in a fanciful and fresh manner, as in the paintings of Henri Rousseau and Grandma Moses.
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 also reflect the folk idiom. Folk art is generally nationalistic in character and expresses the values and aspirations of a culturally united group. Much folk art possesses a rough-hewn quality frequently admired and imitated by sophisticated artists. In works of the American regionalist school of the 20th cent., folk and mainstream traditions merged to form a hybrid modern expression. Of several museums devoted to the collection and exhibition of folk art, the best known is probably the American Folk Art Museum in New York City.


See H. Cahill, American Folk Art (1932, repr. 1970); A. Earnest, Folk Art in America (1984); H. T. Bossert, Folk Art of Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas (1990).

References in periodicals archive ?
Every imaginable folk-art icon dear to an American's heart is here, including hand-carved carousel horses, towering cigar-store Native Americans and other figures, ship figureheads, early American still lifes, unusual bird decoys (including a stately driftwood heron), coverlets, quilts, pottery, and weather vanes, including, as Longenecker describes it, "a big, gorgeous golden goat
Inspired by the snow and Grandma Moses' paintings, I decided to have my eighth-graders become folk-art painters.
To help the students become more observant of details, I passed out other folk-art prints and pictures from old calendars, Christmas cards and magazines.
Some students observed, however, that in some of the folk-art paintings the buildings were not drawn accurately.
learn about "folk art" and the qualities that make a folk-art painting.
learn about the folk-art painting style of Grandma Moses.
Corpuscle- and cell-like shapes are plentiful, as are other forms with myriad associations: eyeballs, candies, toy balls, folk-art flower-stars, seashells, planets.
It is a treasure box for adults, with giant folk-art creations such as fanciful weather vanes, cigar-store Indians, quilts, lavishly decorated furniture and hooked rugs.
By attaching an expensive durable surface to variously shaped scraps of low-quality building materials, Durant seemed to revel in a folk-art esthetic of mix-and-match, transforming useless scrap into a welcome sight.