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?



Speaking of Old . . .

That word, old, is creeping in a lot lately around here. I have a big birthday coming up in February (no, I won’t tell you which one.) So I have been giving a lot of thought lately about growing old and reminiscing about the old days, too. Things were so much slower and relaxing back then. We didn’t use and rely on computers to do so much of our work (or play, for that matter.) You could always find pencils and paper – someone always needed to write a note – no email. If you wanted to go shopping, you had to get in your car and drive somewhere – no online stores. Go to the movies? Back in the car, drive to the theater (or better, the drive-in) and get a ticket – no Netflix or streaming video.  Okay, so far that doesn’t sound more relaxing or slower does it? But it really felt that way. What we don’t have as much now as we did then is the personal interaction – that face-to-face, talking to each other. I think we need more of that these days. Don’t get me wrong, I do my share of Twittering and Facebooking etc. and I love it. My computer holds my business in its guts and it is convenient not to have all that paper everywhere, but it can be scary as well. I am, and have been for a long time, pretty tech saavy. I am just reflecting on some of the changes I’ve seen as the years passed by. If you ‘remember when’ – tell me what you miss the most about the good old days!

I am happy that I make part of my living keeping an old, traditional craft alive though. Rug hooking has a great history and I adore the old rugs that I see.  As an antiques dealer, I have seen quite a few beautiful old rugs and wondered about their makers and their lives. I bet they had some of the same thoughts of how their world was changing – automobiles, telephones, television. All those things that even us ‘new’ old-timers have taken for granted for years. Yet, here are their rugs still being collected and coveted all across the country. Makes you stop and think about what you are leaving as your legacy of your days here. Be sure to label your rugs with your name, a date, and a place. Someday someone might think of you as they look at at old rug and marvel at your workmanship. I create my labels on the computer and then transfer them to iron-on fabric that goes through my printer. I cut them into strips that will fit my binding tape, iron them onto the binding tape, and as I bind the rug, I am labeling it at the same time. Could not be easier! I’ll have to post a tutorial for you in the Rug Hooking Q&A section here at the blog – stay tuned.

This is the label I add to my rugs

Oh, before I leave you today, I’ll just mention that I have a new Etsy shop and another blog. The shop, Vintage on the Ridge, is a place where I’m selling antiques and vintage items. I have so much to offer and  since I really am no longer actively selling antiques from my web site I opened a new Etsy shop. So check it out – I will be adding tons of stuff all the time until it’s gone! I started another blog over at Blogger for Vintage on the Ridge, the blog. So put me on your reading list and be sure to Follow over there. I need readers since I am just getting started. Antiques & hooked rugs just go together so well. See? Old things are good!