folk art

Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.

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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Indeed, tradition is folk art theory's second significant element.
Caption(s): Left: The Ketti Folk Art and Architectural collections include eight designs.
Lonnie hopes to preserve a tradition of the creation of folk art by blacks as does his friend, Charlie Lucas.
Some of the carvings are well over 100 years old, a connection to a way of life rapidly disappearing, a folk art borne of long, lonely hours tending sheep in remote places.
Inside the museum, exhibits range from objects drawn from the traditional folk art -- paintings, sculptures, weathervanes, flags, quilts -- of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to the works of contemporary self-taught artists.
William Arnett and his son have brought together leading scholars, political figures, and writers to provide a wide range of perspectives and insights into the nature of folk art and America's mulatto culture.
The contents of the book covers a wide range of topics including different aspects of chests as well as explanations about the evolution of art and Cyprus folk art. The book is designed in an oblong horizontal shape which reflects the shape of chests.
Deschillie's personal vision was well documented in The People Speak--Navajo Folk Art by Chuck and Jan Rosenak, which I used to show my students examples of her work.
The Palestinian folk arts have a rich and fascinating history.
But if folk art looks back to a less commercial and more devout era, then it also serves a more positive, even liberatory function.
Spain's long tradition of producing folk art continues to play an important role in the life and culture of its people today.