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03 Oct 2022

Virtual Insights: Rediscovering Morris Hirshfield

1:00- 2:15 p.m. EDT 

The most comprehensive presentation of Hirshfield’s work, Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered  reevaluates the art and the reception of a singular painter who has been posthumously overlooked.

Join us for a conversation about the artist and the making of the exhibition with exhibition curator Richard Meyer, curatorial advisor Susan Davidson, and coordinating curator Valérie Rousseau. With a focus on the painter’s textile sensibility and the force of his imagination, this program will provide an in-depth study of Hirshfield’s creative method and his art-historical relevance—past and present. 

From fantastical animals to spectacles of imaginary women, from invented landscapes to highly ornamental religious scenes, the curators will introduce the extraordinary variety of paintings featured in the Museum’s gallery – more than half of the painter’s output. Learn more about this incredible selection including works praised by the French Surrealists and collected by Peggy Guggenheim. 

While contextualizing the paintings on view in relation to the vibrant culture of the interwar years, this curatorial walkthrough will also unpack the ways in which the exhibition expands our understanding of the entangled histories of modernism and self-taught art. 

Space is limited; advance registration is required. Please click here to register, and consider making a donation to support ongoing virtual programming.

Instructions for joining with a Zoom link and password will be provided by email upon registration confirmation under “Additional Information.” Closed captioning will be provided in English. For questions or to request accessibility accommodations, please email

Curator and art historian Susan Davidson is an authority in the fields of Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art, with an expertise in the art of Robert Rauschenberg. Davidson is also an accomplished museum professional with over thirty-year’s experience at two distinguished institutions: The Menil Collection, Houston, and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. In 2018, Davidson established her eponymous firm that produces curatorial projects for international museums and galleries, works with artist’s foundations on building legacy, and provides collection management services for private collectors. She has served as a curatorial advisor to AFAM’s Morris Hirshfield Rediscovered and authored a catalogue of works for the artist’s monograph.

Richard Meyer is Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History at Stanford University, where he teaches courses in twentieth-century American art, the history of photography, arts censorship and the first amendment, curatorial practice, and gender and sexuality studies.  He is author of Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art and What Was Contemporary Art? (MIT Press) as well as coeditor, with Catherine Lord, of Art and Queer Culture, and coauthor, with Peggy Phelan, of Contact Warhol: Photography without End.  Meyer served as guest curator of Warhol’s Jews: Ten Portraits Reconsidered at the Jewish Museum in New York and the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco and of Naked Hollywood: Weegee in LosAngeles at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.

Valérie Rousseau is Curatorial Chair for Exhibitions & Senior Curator at the American Folk Art Museum. Since 2013, she has curated exhibitions on artists from various countries, including the AAMC Award–winning When the Curtain Never Comes Down on performance art (2015), Art Brut in America: The Incursion of Jean Dubuffet (2015), and shows on Paa Joe (2019), William Van Genk (2014), Bill Traylor (2013), art brut photography (2019, 2021), and self-taught literature (2018). Rousseau holds a PhD in art history from Université du Québec à Montréal and an MA in anthropology from École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris. She has authored various essays on arts emerging outside the art mainstream, from an international perspective, notably Visionary Architectures (The Alternative Guide to the Universe, Hayward Gallery, 2013), Revealing Art Brut (Culture & Musées, 2010), and Vestiges de l’indiscipline (Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2007). 

Image: Morris Hirshfield, Girl with Pigeons, 1942, Oil on canvas, 30 x 40 1/8 inches, The Museum of Modern Art, 610.1967. © 2022 Robert and Gail Rentzer for Estate of Morris Hirshfield / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY.⁠

1:00 pm–2:15 pm

Free; Virtual