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18 Dec 2019

Director's Message: Winter 2019

Dear Members and Friends,

Season’s greetings from the American Folk Art Museum. Across the museum’s two locations in Manhattan and Queens, it has been a busy and exciting autumn. We have offered interactive programs, scholarly lectures, and musical performances that brought the galleries to life. The museum also welcomed a new class of interns from LaGuardia Community College for its Museum Careers Internship Program.

Last week, the museum’s board of trustees elected four new members: KAWS, Dr. Sabiha Al Khemir, Joanne Siegmund, and Jane A. Shallat. Each of these individuals brings a unique perspective to the museum as we continue to provide visitors with greater exposure to self-taught art across time and place.

In the coming months, the museum will open American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection. This long-anticipated exhibition, curated by Stacy C. Hollander, will reveal multiple narratives in the unfolding and ongoing story of the United States. In January, the 2020 Anne Hill Blanchard Uncommon Artists Lecture will highlight new and important contributions in the field of self-taught art. In February, the museum’s acclaimed exhibition Paa Joe: Gates of No Return will open at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

As we conclude 2019, and the thirtieth anniversary of the museum’s location at Lincoln Square, there is much to celebrate, including recent stellar reviews in The New York Times and The New York Review of Books for Memory Palaces: Inside the Collection of Audrey B. Heckler. In November, Audrey B. Heckler and the museum’s Senior Curator, Dr. Valérie Rousseau, were named to Raw Vision’s list of 100 Women in Outsider Art.

I am grateful to the museum’s supporters for rewarding our efforts this year through memberships, donations, and visits. From followers on Instagram to students sketching in the galleries, our audience is vast and diverse and inspires us onward to do the very best work we can achieve. As we look ahead to 2020, and our sixtieth anniversary in 2021, there will be new exhibitions to see, programs to enjoy, and artworks that will inspire you. Have a happy and healthy holiday season!

With best wishes,

Jason T. Busch
Director | American Folk Art Museum