Everyone has a story to tell—a life lived, witness to and participant in events both private and shared. Such moments are captured by American folk and self-taught artists in powerful visual narratives that offer firsthand testimony to chapters in the unfolding story of America from its inception to the present. This exhibition showcases more than seventy stellar works of folk and self-taught art from the museum’s collection. Beautiful, diverse, and truthful, the art illuminates the thoughts and experiences of individuals with an immediacy that is palpable and unique to these expressions.Learn more
The inaugural exhibition in the Audrey B. Heckler Gallery conveys the museum’s deep commitment to studying, preserving, and sharing the complexity, ingenuity, and historical relevance of self-taught art across time, cultures, and place.
Arranged in the gallery are several works from the museum’s collection, as well as masterworks by Martín Ramírez, Barbus Müller (a.k.a. Antoine Rabany), and Achilles B. Rizzoli, all recently donated to the museum by its esteemed Trustee, Audrey B. Heckler
PHOTO | BRUT: Collection Bruno Decharme & Compagnie presents the first international survey of self-taught photography. Gathering works dating from 1870 to the present by artists from various countries, the exhibition reveals the critical potential of this still relatively unexplored segment of the research on art brut.
American Weathervanes: The Art of the Winds reveals the beauty, historical significance, and technical virtuosity of American vanes fashioned between the late seventeenth and early twentieth centuries.Learn more
Accra-based artist and craftsman Paa Joe (b. 1947), known for his figurative coffins that draw from the traditional Ghanaian custom of abebuu adekai, gained international recognition in seminal presentations like Magicians of the Earth (Pompidou, 1989). This exhibition presents a unique series of large-scale painted wood sculptures commissioned in 2004 and 2005—architectural models of Gold Coast castles and forts that served as way stations for more than six million Africans sold into slavery and sent to the Americas and the Caribbean between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. Once forced through these “Gates of No Return,” they started an irreversible, perilous journey during which many died. This production alludes to Paa Joe’s coffins, seen as vessels ferrying the dead in the afterlife, speaking to spirits separated from bodies in trauma. Archival documents and recordings accompany the show.