Folk art

Unbound Spirit: Folk Art from the Tubman Museum Collection

Folk Art is usually described in one of two ways: as an artistic tradition passed down through generations, or as works of art created by individuals with no formal art training. Both descriptions are accurate. Folk artists have the uncanny ability to transform found objects and materials normally considered useless into unique and powerful works of art. In the hands of these talented individuals, scraps of worn clothing may be sewn into quilts of intricate design, tree branches and roots can become evocative sculptures and plywood, house paint and mud combined to create remarkable paintings.

Often inspired by deep intuitive callings or unique spiritual visions, the style of folk art commonly referred to as “Visionary Art” seeks to connect the inner world of the artists with the larger, physical world we all share. This intensely personal and highly expressive quality is a major reason why the art has become popular. But the acceptance of folk art into the mainstream art world has taken time. One reason for this may be that folk art celebrates inherent artistic talents not influenced by academic training. It is the intuitive nature of these works that allow them to dispel notions that only works created by trained artists can and should be appreciated. The Folk Art Collection contains impressive examples of the unusual media and various styles of notable African American vernacular artists. Their works represent a human desire for self expression that is not bound by the realms of academic training. The majority of the artists included in this collection have a connection to Georgia. The museum hopes to present the full range of folk and craft art by increasing the number of items that demonstrate artistic traditions passed down through generations such as quilt making, pottery and basket making.

Take a virtual tour of the Tubman Museum!

 totowithdish  moonman

Title: Toto with Dish
Artist: Jimmie Lee Sudduth
Date: 1989
Medium: Mud, Mixed Media on Plywood

Title: Moon Man
Artist: Mose Tolliver
Date: 1997
Medium: House Paint on Plywood

 tigerheld  shortly

Title: Let Freedom Ring: The Tiger has Been Held Down Long Enough
Artist: Thornton Dial
Date: 2002
Medium: Mixed Media, Rope on Plywood

Title: Shorty
Artist: O.L. Samuels
Medium: Wood, Paint, Glitter