Everyone has a story to tell—a life lived, witness to and participant in events both private and shared. Such moments are captured by American folk and self-taught artists in powerful visual narratives that offer firsthand testimony to chapters in the unfolding story of America from its inception to the present. “American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection” showcases more than seventy stellar works of folk and self-taught art from the museum’s premier collection. Beautiful, diverse, and truthful, the art illuminates the thoughts and experiences of individuals with an immediacy that is palpable and unique to these expressions.
The artworks are organized into four sections—Founders, Travelers, Philosophers, and Seekers—that respond to such themes as nationhood, freedom, community, imagination, opportunity, and legacy. Evocative visual juxtapositions and accessible contextual information further reveal the vital role that folk art plays as a witness to history, carrier of cultural heritage, and a reflection of the world at large through the eyes, heart, and mind of the artist.