Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyAmerican folk art, with its strain of naive optimism, reflected early settlers' faith in the new democratic republic, the pioneers' westward push, the hope of progress in urban life. Lipman, former editor of Art in America, here teams up with Warren and Bishop, both of New York's Museum of American Folk Art, to assemble hundreds of objects that reflect not only popular customs but the changing face of the nation. The passing of the apothecary's shop and the high-wheeled bicycle, life in a New England seacoast town, how churches and schools functioned as social beehives and a Shaker prayer ceremony are facets in a mosaic made of paintings, wedding quilts, lithographs, sea chests, trade signs, folk sculpture, weather vanes, a fireman's parade hat, whaling scenes. The authors' inclusion of early photographs and Native American crafts as examples of folk art is well-intentioned but misleading. This treasury catalogues a touring exhibit. (November 24)
Library Journal - Library JournalAmerican folk art continues to be a favorite subject of art book publishers. This well-designed offering features handsome reproductions of paintings, photographs, drawings, sculpture, and decorative objects chosen from public and private collections. The inclusion of photographs and Native American art is unusual and thought-provoking. Unfortunately, the main text, which is supposed to be a thematic history of the United States through the eyes of folk artists and artisans, is at times vague in content and awkward in style. Through brief essays flanking the body of the book, the authors discuss the nature of folk art and developments in research and collecting. The strength of this volume is as a pictorial resource. Kathleen Eagen Johnson, Sleepy Hollow Restorations, Tarrytown, N.Y.
- Konecky, William S. Associates, Inc.
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