January 31, 2014–May 4, 2014
This exhibition features an unprecedented selection of American paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, textiles, furniture, and decorative arts from the Milwaukee Art Museum’s world-class collection of folk and self-taught art. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as American art struggled to find its own voice separate from the classical European style that dominated the art world, an authentically American artistic expression was identified in the work of folk and self-taught artists. These artists, operating outside the established structure of the art world, created work that was influenced by communities and cultural traditions, rather than by art historical movements. From 19th-century weathervanes to contemporary quilts from Gee’s Bend, Alabama, the exhibition celebrates this independent streak in American art.
Rita Mae (“Rabbit”) Pettway (American, Gee’s Bend, Alabama, b. 1941)
Four Block Housetop Quilt, 2000
Cotton and synthetic materials
76 1/2 x 82 in. (194.31 x 208.28 cm)
Gift of Angelo Buscemi, Valerie A. Childrey, MD, David and Maggi Gordon, Lucinda J. Gordon, Michele McKnight, and Barbara Brown Lee in honor of Dorothy Nelle Sanders
Photographer credit: John R. Glembin.