American Folk Art Museum
Outsider Art Fair Program
The American Folk Art Museum will present its annual Anne Hill Blanchard Symposium at the Outsider Art Fair.

Henry Darger: 40 Years Later
Saturday, May 10
4–5:30 pm

Outsider Art Fair
Center 548, Rooftop
548 West 22nd Street, New York City

Organized and moderated by
Dr. Valérie Rousseau
Curator, art of the self-taught and art brut, American Folk Art Museum


Michael Bonesteel
Art historian, adjunct assistant professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and author of Henry Darger: Art and Selected Writings (Rizzoli, 2000)

James Brett
Founder/director, The Museum of Everything, London

Jim Elledge
Professor of English at Kennesaw State University and author of Henry Darger, Throwaway Boy: The Tragic Life of an Outsider Artist (Overlook Press, 2013)

Jane Kallir
Codirector of Galerie St. Etienne, New York, independent curator, and author of publications on Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, and Grandma Moses

The panelists will discuss their new studies on Henry Darger (1892–1973) and offer innovative avenues to understand this complex oeuvre. Where do we stand thirty-seven years after The Realms of the Unreal at Hyde Park Art Center in Chicago—the first exhibition that publicly revealed the artist’s works and preceded dozens of international shows? What main conclusions emerged after the seminal contribution of John MacGregor, starting with “I See a World within the World: I Dream but Am Awake,” in Parallel Visions (1992)? Fifteen years after his first publication on Darger, Michael Bonesteel will present his upcoming project (2015), which consists of a reordering of select key episodes and extended passages from The Realms of the Unreal that will relate major highlights of the 15,000-page saga. James Brett will explore the iconography and sources for sections in Darger’s artworks. Jim Elledge will underline aspects of Darger’s life as presented in his recent book, specifically on the twelve-year-old Darger’s confinement to the Illinois Asylum for Feeble-Minded Children. Jane Kallir will approximate the chronological sequence in which Darger created his artworks, how they relate to his writings, and his overall development.

Reservations are not necessary. Admission to the program is free with admission to the Outsider Art Fair.