Support for Folk Art in America?

Recently read in the Etsy forums:

“Please. Someone, everyone, do something to save the American Folk Art Museum from dissolution and dispersal,” begged art critic Roberta Smith in the opening line of her plea in The New York Times last week.

I was unaware that the American Folk Art Museum was in trouble . . . it is the most awesome place I have ever visited! How can we let it fall and disappear?  Apparently, it has been rescued . . . but for how long? We need to do something to preserve and protect our folk art heritage!

The article goes on:

Having narrowly escaped financial ruin by selling off one of its two locations, the future of New York City’s American Folk Art Museum (AFAM), whose staff of 50 has dwindled to 10, has been bleak. Fortunately, within a few days of Smith’s article, donors came through and saved the museum at the last minute. AFAM is still in critical condition — the road to recovery will involve internal restructuring and, presumably, a massive media campaign to attract visitors. The case of AFAM is just more evidence proving how over time, the words “folk” and “craft” have developed a negative connotation, often marginalized and excluded from high art.

Please read the rest of the article at here:

(note the gorgeous photo of all those red and white quilts hung for a show!)

Who would have ever thought that folk art would make it to the endangered species  list? Unspeakable! What can we do to make sure we don’t lose all this wonderful, historic art?



The Song Remains the Same (Somewhat)

Yeah, sorry, this isn’t a post about Led Zepplin. But you’ll like it, I promise. You know how we are always talking about the cool old rugs and wondering how rug hookers from years ago worked on their rugs and shared their love of hooking? Today while noodling around the blogs, I came across this wonderful resource from Life magazine, posted by Brenda Beerhorst over on Kinship in Color and Wool in March of last year.  Look at these great 1950s photos of a rug hooking bee held at Dearborn Village in MI.

It doesn’t look so different than how we lug our frames and wool and rugs to camps and workshop, does it? Of course, our frames are easier to carry and use, and not all of us are hooking ginormous rugs, but here they were, doing the same things we do today. I am a baby of the 1950s, so all the dresses and hats really take me back to my childhood – as well as the black and white photos. This hooking bee actually took place when I was 5 months old (go ahead, do the math.)  Wouldn’t it have been fun to see these rugs in color? I especially admire the lone man in these photos — I am sure he took some grief from the guys about making rugs!Copyright LIFE magazine, photo credit, Silk, 1951

And the sweet little girl in her peter pan collar dress and Mary Janes (feet resting on the stretcher bar of the frame) as she works on her part of her Mama’s rug; she’s having fun with the worms in several photos.

Copyright LIFE magazine; photo credit : Silk, July 1951It was a beautiful setting for this hooking bee wasn’t it? And they sure had a good turnout. I hope you enjoy perusing all the photos . . . it was a fun sidetrack for me today — thanks  for sharing Brenda!!

Do you have a source of old rug hooking-relating photos? Please share yours!

Hook on dear friends,