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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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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.
..... Click the link for more information. , 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.
..... Click the link for more information. 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).