Museum of Early American Folk Arts

Museum of Early American Folk Arts The American Folk Art Museum is an art museum in the Upper West Side of Manhattan, at 2, Lincoln Square, Columbus Avenue at 66th Street. It is the premier institution devoted to the aesthetic appreciation of folk art and creative expressions of contemporary self-taught artists from the United States and abroad.Its collection holds over 7,000 objects from the 18th century to the present.

These works span both traditional folk arts and the work of contemporary self-taught artists and European Art Brut. In its ongoing exhibitions, educational programming, and outreach, the museum showcases the creative expressions of individuals whose talents developed without formal artistic training.Admission is free. In 2013, the museum had record attendance with over 100,000 visitors.HistorySince receiving a provisional charter in 1961, the American Folk Art Museum has continually expanded its mission and purview. At its inception, the museum lacked a permanent collection, an endowment, and a building. Despite lacking these institutional fixtures, founding Trustees Joseph B. Martinson and Adele Earnest had a vision: the advancement of the understanding and appreciation of American folk arts. In the museum’s fifty-year history, this dedication has held true. The museum’s evolving mission reflects the shifting understanding of American folk art in the contemporary American society.The Museum of Early American Folk Arts, as it was known initially, held its first exhibition in a rented space on 49 West 53rd Street in 1961. The museum’s collection was launched in 1962 with the gift of a gate in the form of an American flag, celebrating the nation’s centennial. The gift reflected the museum’s early focus on eighteenth and nineteenth-century vernacular arts from the northeast America.

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New York, NY
10019

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