What if canonical art history had been written not by academics but by art’s makers themselves? Who would have been included in such a history, and who would have been left out?
The first United States exhibition of Dutch artist Willem van Genk’s work at the American Folk Art Museum offers a comic counterpoint to the recent Futurist show at the Guggenheim.
In 1964, Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously noted, with regard to what exactly constituted “obscenity,” “I know it when I see it.” Similarly, among some art historians, collectors and other experts, just what can or should be considered “folk art” often has been a subject of criteria-questioning debate.
With scaffolding now shrouding its embattled façade, the architects behind the ill-fated American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) have broken their silence over the demolition of the acclaimed building, denouncing the “senseless and unnecessary act of destruction” in a brief statement posted online yesterday and a longer interview in the New York Times today.
Saving face is no longer limited to disgraced public figures — architects and their patrons can also get in on the action. The New York Times is reporting that the Museum of Modern Art intends to preserve the metal panels that make up the façade of the American Folk Art Museum building.
If the howlings this week surrounding the fate of the American Folk Art Museum building are any indication, a low-stakes outrage has gripped the culture pages of virtually every newspaper and magazine in America.
The Tod Williams and Billie Tsien-designed building isn’t all that the American Folk Art Museum is losing as it retreats from its large home in midtown and cedes it to the Museum of Modern Art. It also has to give up over 200 works that were promised to it by collector and museum chairman Ralph Esmerian, who is currently serving a six-year prison sentence for fraud, reports The Art Newspaper.
There is a growing uproar over the news, first reported in the New York Times yesterday, that the venerable Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will be demolishing the 12-year-old former American Folk Art Museum designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien to integrate the site into its masterplan.