For Kith and Kin: The Folk Art Collection at the Art Institute of Chicago

Overview

The Art Institute of Chicago is home to one of the world's finest collections of American folk art. For Kith and Kin provides an introduction to that collection through more than sixty of its most outstanding objects. Selected by premier American art scholar Judith A. Barter, the majority of these objects have never before been published.

In a groundbreaking opening essay, Barter revisits the earliest days of folk-art collecting in Chicago, beginning in the 1890s. She pays ...

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Overview

The Art Institute of Chicago is home to one of the world's finest collections of American folk art. For Kith and Kin provides an introduction to that collection through more than sixty of its most outstanding objects. Selected by premier American art scholar Judith A. Barter, the majority of these objects have never before been published.

In a groundbreaking opening essay, Barter revisits the earliest days of folk-art collecting in Chicago, beginning in the 1890s. She pays special attention to the passionate individuals who sought out unique and expressive examples of American folk art, building private collections that they later donated to the Art Institute. Including beautiful reproductions and detailed entries for each of the sixty-one objects it features, this book highlights an array of masterworks such as "primitive" New England portraits, a face jug from South Carolina, New Mexican ceramics, a weathervane, and ship figureheads.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Barter (chair, American art, Art Institute of Chicago; coauthor, Window on the West: Chicago and the Art of the New Frontier, 1890–1940) and Obniski (asst. curator, American art, Art Institute of Chicago) tell the story not only of folk art but also of their museum's collection. The catalog, divided into 52 entries, each on one or more works of art, offers attributions (when known), titles, dates, materials, dimensions, and provenance. Accompanying descriptions consider the pieces both on their own and as representative of similar works and/or movements. Many entries detail the process by which the artist's identity was determined and emphasize the role of the collector. Barter also contributes a fine essay, "Friendship, Faith, and Folk Art," an introduction to the collection of folk art in the 19th and early 20th century. VERDICT An excellent overview of folk art and its admirers between 1800 and 1940, this title is recommended for art collectors and students of art history, decorative arts, and American history.—Jennifer Naimzadeh, ABBE Regional Lib. Syst., Bamberg, SC
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300179729
  • Publisher: Art Institute of Chicago
  • Publication date: 7/10/2012
  • Pages: 120
  • Product dimensions: 9.80 (w) x 8.70 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


Judith A. Barter is chair and Field-McCormick Curator of American Art, and Monica Obniski is assistant curator in the Department of American Art, both at the Art Institute of Chicago.
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