Today I'm going to introduce you to a few art works from a special exhibition at the Milwaukee Art Museum: Uncommon Folk - Traditions in American Art. Some of it was whimsical, some of interesting, other pieces I found rather creepy or disturbing, but all of them revealed a small glimpse back at America's history and how "regular folk" expressed their creativity.
The exhibit's program probably says it best: The unprecedented selection of paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, textiles, and furniture featured in this exhibition offers unexpected beauty, power, whimsy, and wonder. The authentically American artistic expression identified in the work of folk and self-taught artists in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries gave American art its own voice separate from the classical European style that dominated the art world at the time. These artists, operating outside the art establishment, created work that was influenced by their communities and cultural traditions, rather than by art historical movements.
I'll start with the downright creepy...can anyone say "The Bad Seed"?? I definitely wouldn't want this portrait hanging in my home!
Young Girl with a Cat, Drossos P. Skyllas (1955)
Nor would I want this hyena greeting me at my front door!
I loved this Shaker sewing cabinet!