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Pyramid Quilt

Artist unidentified

WALL POWER! Quilts from the Werner and Karen Gundersheimer Gift

August 6, 2019–September 1, 2019
At the American Folk Art Museum
Lincoln Square, Manhattan

Quilts—America’s great art experiment . . . monumental compositions in color, pattern, geometry, and representation made (mostly) by women over more than three centuries. The American Folk Art Museum has been at the forefront of the movement to bring recognition to quilts as a major art form with deep roots in American life and experience. The museum’s collection is especially distinctive for unique, highly individualized expressions in this medium that is both yielding and unforgiving, challenging the maker to test the limits imposed by cutting and piecing bits of fabric The museum is renowned for its in-depth holdings of Amish quilts, whitework textiles, double wedding ring, crazy, appliqué quilts, and more. In 2018, the museum received a gift of twenty-one quilts from Werner and Karen Gundersheimer that introduces new patterns into the collection. Gathered over a period of decades as the couple scoured eastern Pennsylvania, and then the Midwest and Southern United States, the quilts are graphically striking examples that embody what the couple call “wall power.” Packing a tough visual punch, the textiles hold space and defy the deceptive softness of their nature.

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Current Exhibition
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Mary Antoinette Lorania Pike and Sarah Adeline Pike

Joseph H. Davis

A Piece of Yourself: Gift Giving in Self-Taught Art

July 22, 2019 –December 31, 2019
At the Self-Taught Genius Gallery
Long Island City, Queens

Gifts are present at all of life’s great milestones: births, birthdays, weddings, and all of the little occasions in between. A Piece of Yourself: Gift Giving in Self-Taught Art is dedicated to exploring the interconnection between gift-giving practices in the United States and self-taught art through a selection of works from the museum’s collection. Self-taught art—an inherent expression of its maker’s views—complicates standard gift-giving dynamics by presenting a one-of-a-kind artwork instead of an everyday commodity.

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Memory Palaces: Inside the Collection of Audrey B. Heckler

September 17, 2019–January 26, 2020
At the American Folk Art Museum
Lincoln Square, Manhattan

The collection of Audrey B. Heckler is emblematic of the growth of the field of self-taught art in the United States, which manifests a strong interest for African American artists, a consistent attention on American classics, a curiosity for European art brut, and a search for international discoveries. For the last twenty-seven years, Heckler—a long time and committed patron of the American Folk Art Museum—has surrounded herself with excellent examples by the most significant artists associated to this art niche, among them Emery Blagdon, Aloïse Corbaz, William Edmondson, August Klett, Augustin Lesage, Martín Ramírez, Thornton Dial, and Anna Zemánková.

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