Published on : Thursday, November 16, 2017
From the late eighteenth century through the early twentieth century, American folk art flourished. Unlike academic or fine art, folk art typically derives from deeply-rooted community traditions, with master craftspeople developing a local style emulated by others and passed from one generation to the next. Folk art commonly serves both utilitarian and decorative purposes and historically tends to thrive in rural communities. For example, in the agricultural South, small family-run pottery workshops, which made sturdy stoneware vessels with distinctive glazes, continued in production well into the twentieth century. In southeastern Pennsylvania, German-speaking European immigrants produced some of the country’s liveliest folk art, easily recognized by its elaborate decoration, with bright colors and motifs, such as birds, hearts, and flowers.
American artisans combined long-held traditions and regional influences with ingenuity and creativity to create a variety of folk art. This exhibition presents weathervanes, fraktur (illuminated writing), southern stoneware, and wooden canes, alongside more unusual items, such as carved stone books and fraternal-order plaques.
American Folk Art: An Enduring Legacy is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby, San Francisco International Airport. This exhibition is on view to all airport visitors from November 18, 2017, to July 15, 2018.