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Vestiges & Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic

January 21, 2018–May 27, 2018

The exhibition Vestiges & Verse: Notes from the Newfangled Epic unites more than two hundred works by twenty-one seminal artists and recently discovered self-taught artists, who will be introduced for the first time, through the examination of the idiosyncratic structures of their lifelong, intricate narratives—notably, their sequential and developing aspects. An illuminating selection of never-before-seen series of drawings, rare manuscripts, illustrated notebooks with coded texts, expanding cartography, journals, and multi-part collages provide an art historical and pluridisciplinary perspective on the mechanisms behind visual storytelling.

The exhibition is coproduced with the Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut, France, where a complementary selection of artists is presented until March 25, 2018. The New York presentation is curated by Valérie Rousseau, PhD, Curator, Self-Taught Art and Art Brut, American Folk Art Museum.

A book will be available.

Featuring the work of:

  • Jean-Daniel Allanche (1940, Tunisia–2015, France)
  • Josep Baqué (1895–1967, Spain)
  • Ariane Bergrichter (1937, Germany–1996, Belgium)
  • Josie Lipton Bryant (Twentieth Century, United States)
  • Aloïse Corbaz (1886–1964, Switzerland)
  • Henry Darger (1892–1973, United States)
  • James Edward Deeds, Jr. (1908–1987, United States)
  • Charles A. A. Dellschau (1830–1923, United States)
  • Jean Fick (b. 1876, France)
  • Jerry Gretzinger (b. 1942, United States)
  • William A. Hall (b. 1943, United States)
  • Carlo Keshishian (b. 1980, United Kingdom)
  • Susan Te Kahurangi King (b. 1951, New Zealand)
  • Paul Laffoley (1935–2015, United States)
  • Malcolm McKesson (1909–1999, United States)
  • Melvin Edward Nelson (1908–1992, United States)
  • Jean Perdrizet (1907–1975, France)
  • Achilles G. Rizzoli (1896–1982, United States)
  • Richard Saholt (1924–2014, United States)
  • Agatha Wojciechowsky (1896, Germany–1986, United States)
  • Adolf Wölfli (1864–1930, Switzerland)


Image credit: Henry Darger (1892–1973), detail of 106. AT SUNBEAM CREEK. Are with little girl refugees again in peril from forest fires. but escape this also, but half naked and in burned rags / At Torrington. Are persued by a storm of fire but save themselves by jumping into a stream and swim across as seen in next picture / At Torrington. They reach the river just in the nick of time. Their red color is caused by glare of flames. (double-sided)Chicago, mid-twentieth century, watercolor, pencil, carbon tracing, and collage on pieced paper, 19 x 70 1/2″, American Folk Art Museum, New York, anonymous gift in recognition of Sam Farber, 2004.1.2A, photo by James Prinz, © Kiyoko Lerner.


This exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Lille Métropole Musée d’art moderne, d’art contemporain et d’art brut, France. Support for this exhibition is provided by the David Davies and Jack Weeden Fund for Exhibitions, the Ford Foundation, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.