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Folk, Outsider & Self-Taught Art: Home Page

This guide was designed to help begin research in the area of Folk Art, Outsider Art and Self-Taught Art including Southern Folk Art

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Folk Art, Self-taught Art & Outsider Art Defined

Folk Art indicates a sense of aesthetic and technique derived from tradition and created in awareness of other art as well as a potential market. Horace Pippen, Morris Hirschfield, and Grandma Moses are examples of supreme painters in this realm. Naïve Kunst is a European variation of Folk Art. Abstraction is not usually a characterization of Folk Art. The American Folk Art Museum naturally uses Folk Art as an umbrella term. It is a stretch for the term Folk Art to include both the Art Brut work of an artist like Adolf Wolfli and the contemporary Vernacular work of an artist like Thornton Dial. The American Folk Art Museum has led the way in recognizing the expanded scope of the field in recent decades. Its name need not change in order to continue to do so. Similarly, The Museum of Modern Art includes Postmodern Art.

Self-taught Art is an umbrella term for two sub-genres, Outsider Art and Vernacular Art. Outsider Art includes Art Brut and Neuve Invention. Vernacular Art includes Indigenous Art, Folk Art and Naïve Kunst. These terms all relate to various levels and types of cultural influence in the life of the artist, and in the composition and context of the art work. Such reference is used for categorization and collection guidelines.

"About the Art." Learn About Self-Taught Art Outsider Vernacular Art. George Jacobs Self-Taught Art. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.

The term outsider art was coined by art critic Roger Cardinal in 1972 as an English synonym for art brut (French: "raw art" or "rough art"), a label created by French artist Jean Dubuffet to describe art created outside the boundaries of official culture; Dubuffet focused particularly on art by those on the outside of the established art scene, such as psychiatric hospital patients and children.[1][2]

While Dubuffet's term is quite specific, the English term "outsider art" is often applied more broadly, to include certain self-taught or naïve art makers who were never institutionalized. Typically, those labeled as outsider artists have little or no contact with the mainstream art world or art institutions. In many cases, their work is discovered only after their deaths. Often, outsider art illustrates extreme mental states, unconventional ideas, or elaborate fantasy worlds.

The term is sometimes misapplied as a catch-all marketing label for art created by people who are outside the mainstream "art world" or "art gallery system", regardless of their circumstances or the content of their work.

Wikipedia contributors. "Outsider art." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 15 Sep. 2015. Web. 23 Sep. 2015.

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