A visit to the American Folk Art Museum to see the exhibition “Made in NYC: The Business of Folk Art,” which is on view through July 28, 2019.

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NEXT, WE VISIT THE AMERICAN FOLK ART MUSEUM, OUR NEIGHBOR JUST ACROSS THE STREET IN LINCOLN SQUARE.

NOW IN ITS 30th ANNIVERSARY OF THIS LOCATION, THE MUSEUM IS CELEBRATING THE OCCASION WITH THE EXHIBITION MADE IN NEW YORK CITY.

THE BUSINESS OF FOLK ART.

ALTHOUGH FREQUENTLY ASSUMED THEY HAVE BEEN CREATED IN RURAL AREAS, MUCH OF WHAT WE CONCEIVE OF AMERICAN FOLK ART, THE FIGURE CAUGHT THE WEATHER VAINS AND THEY WERE ACTUALLY MADE IN NEW YORK CITY.

IN THE 1800s NEW YORK WAS THE LARGEST CITY IN THE COUNTRY AND BY THE END OF THE CENTURY ITS POPULATION GREW TO 1.5 MILLION RESIDENTS.

IT BROUGHT WITH IT CREATIVE SKILLS MATCHED WITH THE ENTREPRENEURIAL SPIRIT.

AS A RESULT, NEW YORK BECAME THE CREATIVE, FINANCIAL CAPITAL OF THE COUNTRY.

THEY REMIND US OF A SIMPLER TIME WHEN EVERYTHING WAS MADE BY HAND AND THE NEW YORK MINUTE WAS, WELL, JUST A MINUTE.

OUR GUIDE IS THE SHOW'S CURATOR LIZ WARREN.

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MY NAME IS LIZ WARREN.

I'M THE EXHIBITION CURATOR FOR MADE IN NEW YORK CITY, THE BUSINESS OF FOLK ART AT THE AMERICAN FOLK ART MUSZ YUM IN NEW YORK.

FOLK ART WAS NOT JUST MADE BY GRANDMA SEWING IN THE KITCHEN OR GRANDPA WHITTLING IN THE BARN.

THIS WAS MADE RIGHT HERE IN NEW YORK CITY AS WELL AS OTHER CITIES IN THE COUNTRY, BUT NEW YORK WAS THE CENTER OF IT ALL.

MANY OF THOSE WEATHER VAINS, THE CAROUSEL ANIMALS AND THE CIGAR STORE FIGURES THAT YOU SEE IN THE COUNTRY WERE MADE RIGHT HERE IN NEW YORK CITY, AND IT WAS MADE AS PART OF A BUSINESS WHICH IS HOW THE BUSINESS COMES INTO IT.

THE EXHIBITION IS DIVIDED IN TWO PARTS.

THE FIRST HALF IS THE ART OF BUSINESS WHICH IS FOLK REPRESENTATION OF BUSINESSES THAT EXISTED IN NEW YORK CITY IN THE 19th CENTURY.

SO YOU WILL HAVE A FLINT GLASS MANUFACTURING COMPANY, A STREET CAR COMPANY, MANY DIFFERENT SORTS OF TRANSPORTATION, HOSPITALITY, AND SEAFARING, SHIPBUILDING WORK BEING DONE HERE SO FOLK ARTISTS WERE PORTRAYING NEW YORK CITY AS IT WAS IN THE PAST.

THE OTHER HALF OF THE SHOW IS THE BUSINESS OF FOLK ART AND THAT SHOWS THE PRODUCTS THAT WERE MADE BY FOL BEING ARTISTS FOR SALE AND THIS WAS HOW THE PORTRAIT PAINTERS EARN THEIR LIVING AND THIS IS HOW THE POTTERS EARN THEIR LIVING AND THE CHAIR MAKERS AND EVEN THE LANDSCAPE PAINTERS WOULD FREQUENTLY PAINT SCENES AND BRING THEM BACK TO THEIR STUDIO AND THEN HAVE THEM ON HAND FOR SALE TO ANYBODY WHO WAS WALKING BY.

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FOLK ART IS GENERALLY PRODUCED FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS, THE WORKING CLASS.

IT'S THE PEOPLE WHO CAN'T AFFORD TO GO TO THE FINE ARTISTS TO HAVE THEIR PORTRAIT PAINTED, BUT THEY COULD AFFORD A FOLK ARTIST WHO WOULD ADVERTISE IT, SILHOUETTES DONE IN A FEW MINUTES' TIME FOR A DOLLAR OR MINIATURES DONE QUICKLY.

THE EARLIEST PORTRAIT WE HAVE IN THE EXHIBITION IS JAMES BEEKMAN JR. SHOWN IN A POSE WITH HIS PET SQUIRRELS, DUR AND CAME FROM SOMEWHERE IN EUROPE.

WE'RE NOT SURE WHERE.

HE ARRIVED IN NEW YORK AROUND 1760.

SO HE GOT THE COMMISSION TO PAINT MR. BEEKMAN'S FAMILY, ALL SIX CHILDREN, THE PAINTING STILL EXISTS AND IT'S NEW YORK'S HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

CONEY ISLAND WAS THE CENTER OF CAROUSEL MANUFACTURING IN THE COUNTRY, AND THERE WAS A STYLE THAT WAS KNOWN AS THE CONEY ISLAND STYLE.

THIS WAS A GREAT EXAMPLE OF IT, GOLDSTEIN WAS THE COMPANY THAT MADE THIS HORSE, BUT MANY OF THE OTHER CAROUSELS AND MANUFACTURERS IN CONEY ISLAND WERE ALSO JEWISH IMMIGRANTS WHO CAME HERE TO NEW YORK AND PUT THEIR SKILLS TO WORK.

♪♪ I HAVE MANY FAVORITE PIECES IN THE EXHIBITION, BUT I THINK THE PIECE THAT STARTED ME ON THIS JOURNEY MANY YEARS AGO IS THE SMALL WATER COLOR IN THE BEGINNING OF THE SHOW OF HERMAN WEIGHING GOLD MANHATTAN BANK OF NEW YORK AND I STARTED RESEARCHING THAT I DISCOVERED HE WAS WHAT'S KNOWN AS A COUNTER AT THE MANHATTAN BANK OF NEW YORK WHICH WAS THE FORERUNNER OF WHAT IS TODAY J.P. MORGAN CHASE.

TO ME, WHAT IS REALLY POIGNANT AND REALLY SHOWED THE COMPLICATED ECONOMIC, SOCIAL HISTORY OF NEW YORK CITY IS THAT HERMAN WRITES A POEM AND PUTS IT ON HIS PORTRAIT AND SAYS THAT AT HIS BANK, MASTER, CHILD OR SLAVE IS EQUAL HERE, BUT THEN WE FIND OUT THAT WHEN HE HAS THIS BIG HOUSE UPTOWN IN THE CENSUS RECORDS HE'S SHOWN AS HAVING ONE MALE SLAVE.

IT'S NOT UNTIL 1827 THERE'S FULL EMANCIPATION IN NEW YORK STATE.

THE AMERICAN FOLK ART MUSEUM IS ONE OF THOSE RARE PLACES IN NEW YORK CITY THAT'S FREE.

I INVITE YOU TO COME AND SEE THE ALMOST 100 OBJECTS OF HISTORICAL AMERICAN FOLK ART THAT WE HAVE ON VIEW RIGHT HERE ON COLUMBUS AVENUE.