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25 Mar 2021

A Message from the Director and CEO, Jason T. Busch

Happy spring from the American Folk Art Museum! 

As you may have read in Forbes, the Museum will celebrate its 60th anniversary in June. We will mark this milestone through major exhibitions and dynamic programs that engage with the Museum’s community, both online and onsite. With the launch of our Gifts of Art Campaign, AFAM will add works to its collection as it seeks to present an inclusive, nuanced, and meaningful story of folk and self-taught art across time and place. Please consider making an anniversary contribution to the Museum’s endowment. Your support is greatly appreciated! 

PHOTO | BRUT: Collection Bruno Decharme & Compagnie continues to attract audiences to the Museum. My colleague and AFAM’s Senior Curator, Valérie Rousseau’s visionary research has led to a breathtaking multi-media show, providing a captivating experience for the Museum’s guests. This landmark exhibition has been the subject of glowing reviews in numerous high-profile publications. In The New York Times, Roberta Smith notes that the exhibition “arrives just in time to humble and excite.” Writing in The New Yorker, Andrea Scott calls the show “overwhelming, exciting, disturbing, and inspiring.” 

Thousands of participants from around the globe have engaged in the Museum’s virtual public programs. Since November 2020, AFAM’s virtual school classes have welcomed more than 600 students from Alabama to Michigan. Please join us for an upcoming talk, panel discussion, or virtual tour, and sign up on the Museum’s website

This summer we look forward to welcoming you to see American Weathervanes: The Art of the Winds. The exhibition, which draws on important private and public collections across the United States, encompasses a diverse range of vanes made between the 1780s and the 1910s. Fundamentally utilitarian, these weathervanes also hold unmistakable aesthetic merits and played a foundational role in AFAM’s first years. Consequently, it is fitting that the exhibition opens on June 23rd, the very day the Museum was founded in 1961. A full-color, illustrated book, published by Rizzoli Electa in association with the American Folk Art Museum, accompanies the exhibition. 

I am reminded that a year ago this month, AFAM temporarily closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Your steadfast support for the Museum has remained a point of inspiration, to my colleagues and me, during this sustained period of upheaval and challenges. Spurned onward by your generosity and encouragement, AFAM has devoted itself to fulfill its mission and serve a global community of art enthusiasts. 

I look forward to seeing you soon at the American Folk Art Museum and sharing news of exciting initiatives in the coming months.

Best wishes,

Jason T. Busch,

Director and CEO