Although all art reflects contemporaneous culture, folk art is deeply intertwined with and informed by the life and times of its creators. Dr. Libby O’Connell discussed three folk artists—Edward Hicks, Ammi Phillips, and Clarissa Peters Russell, all artists with works in A Shared Legacy: Folk Art in America—to examine how social history sheds new light on the daily, private lives of these individuals and their era. O’Connell discussed how cultural attitudes toward food and dress, love and marriage, and work and death played important roles in their artistic expressions.
Dr. Libby O’Connell is Chief Historian and Senior Vice President of HISTORY/A+E Networks.
Image: STILL LIFE WITH WATERMELON, Daniel McDowell (1809–1880), Mount Vernon, Ohio, 1860–1880, oil on canvas, 17 x 24 1/2″. Photo courtesy the Barbara L. Gordon Collection.