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From The Executive Director
21 Dec 2022

A Message from Jason T. Busch

The Museum's Becky and Bob Alexander Director & CEO Caps Off a Stellar Year

Dear Friend, 

This season the great work of the American Folk Art Museum has traveled far and wide! 

We continue to raise our profile nationally and internationally through the recognition of the Museum’s programs and exhibitions – all organized and presented thanks to generous funding from individuals and organizations. 

Our marquee exhibition, Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered, opened in late September and has received a bounty of praise from significant global press, including The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The New Criterion, and The Times Literary Supplement. In writing about the show for the Times, Roberta Smith called it “an extravagantly orchestrated exhibition that is one of the season’s best.” And we are honored to learn that the exhibition was named one of the best of 2022 by both the Journal and the Times.  

Concurrent with Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered, AFAM has opened four other exhibitions across the nation, including: Handstitched Worlds: The Cartography of Quilts at the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine, Florida, and Wall Power! Spectacular Quilts from the American Folk Art Museum at The Hyde Collection at Glens Falls, New York. 

Our most recent Folk Art Explorers trip provided opportunities for a dozen Trustees and patrons to see collections and museums in greater Pittsburgh, including visits to see two additional shows that are traveling from AFAM: Mystery & Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art at the Hoyt Art Center in New Castle, Pennsylvania, and American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection at The Frick Pittsburgh. 

At this time of year, the Museum Shop bustles with activity and 2022 is no exception! We are honored that Our Town has again included AFAM in its short list of Manhattan’s Best Museum Gift Shops. If you are looking for something special for the art-lover on your list, consider Master of the Two Left Feet: Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered, which has been named one of the year’s best books by The New Yorker

As we strive to meet the expectations of our ever-growing audiences, we have produced inspiring talks and programs. Recent offerings featured a highly attended conversation between cartoonist Roz Chast and graphic novelist Ben Katchor and a panel discussion hosted and moderated by art critic Isabella Segalovich. Onsite multilingual tours have continued, and we have also hosted a series of family programs, including art-making workshops inspired by works on view in Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered. I hope you will join us in January for what promises to be an illuminating symposium about the relationship between Modernism and self-taught artists. 

To make the above and more possible, we are grateful to the many donors and funders who have provided financial support this season. In particular, I extend our gratitude to the American Folk Art Society, the Citi Foundation, the Terra Foundation for American Art, the Coby Foundation, the New York State Council for the Arts, the New York City Mayor’s Office, and the Department of Cultural Affairs. In addition, we are especially moved by the generosity of record-number of individuals who have become AFAM Members in the last few months. 

As we celebrate the holidays, I hope you will find time to be our guest at the Museum. Whether you are browsing in the Shop, enjoying our renowned Jazz + Wednesdays program, or exploring one of the critically acclaimed exhibitions on view, there is truly something for everyone at AFAM this season.  

Best wishes for an art-filled and healthy new year!