2013 Metro Show Dialogues

"Knowing makes seeing richer."  - Morris Finkel 

Thursday, January 24

James H. Copeland (detail) William Matthew Prior, 1857 oil on cardboard 20.25 x 16.25 x .75 inches Private Collection

William Matthew Prior Symposium hosted at the American Folk Art Museum

Lecture     10 am - 12 noon      2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue at 66th Street)

Bostonian William Matthew Prior was one of the most prominent and influential folk portrait painters of the nineteenth century, best-known for his charming portraits of families and children.  The symposium will include noted authorities discussing the impact of his work.

William Matthew Prior: Artist and Visionary | Paul S. D’Ambrosio, President New York State Historical Association and Farmers Museum, Cooperstown, New York

Prophecy Art in America | Carol Crown, Professor of Art History, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN

Painting Like Prior: Artists of the Prior-Hamblin School | Stacy Hollander, Chief Curator, American Folk Art Museum, NY

William Matthew Prior, Ornamental Painter | Lee Kogan, Curator Emerita, American Folk Art Museum, NY

Space is limited.  Info / reservations: Rachel Rosen at 212.265.1040, ext. 381 or rrosen@folkartmuseum.org

For more information, click here.

Helen Frankenthaler Snow Pines, 2004 thirty-four color Ukiyo-e woodcut, edition 1 of 65 37.5 x 26 inches Pace Prints

A Designer’s Perspective: Mixing it Up with Ellie Cullman

Tour     11:00 am      Show Floor

Noted interior design pro Ellie Cullman guides visitors through the show pointing out her top picks and how to blend diverse periods and styles in the home.

Elissa Cullman and the late Hedi Kravis founded Cullman & Kravis, Inc. in 1984. Known as “interior decorators for collectors of fine art and antiques,” Cullman & Kravis is known for its versatility of design with a special emphasis on collecting.   

Elissa Cullman is, and has been, listed in Architectural Digest’s definitive “AD 100” best designers and architects since 2000.  She was included as well in the Architectural Digest January 2005 list of “The Deans of American Design” which heralded “30 of the United States’ best architects and interior designers, whose outstanding achievements have propelled them to the top echelon of their fields.”  Cullman was also the recipient of the “Stars of Design” Award at NYC’s D&D Building in October 2009.  

Cullman lives in New York City and Connecticut with her husband, a business executive.  Her three grown children are Trip- a theater director, Sam- a documentary film maker, and Georgina- a PHD candidate in environmental studies.


Inside Prefab: The Ready-Made Interior

Booksigning     11:00 am      Show Entrance - Inner Lobby

In Inside Prefab, architect and author Deborah Schneiderman offers a fascinating history of prefabricated interior design, followed by 24 contemporary case studies. The richly illustrated examples in this book range from interior walls, kitchens, bathrooms, furniture, and offices to complete prefabricated house interiors. This first book-length discussion and showcase of the prefabricated interior environment includes projects by established architects such as Shigeru Ban, Atelier Tekuto, and Greg Lynn, as well as up-and-coming firms.

Deborah Schneiderman, RA, LEED AP,  is Principal at deSc Architecture/Design/Research and an Associate Professor at Pratt Institute  

Painted Checker Textile Huari Culture -Peru 500 - 850 AD cotton and natural dyes 131 x 50 inches

Ancient Andean Textiles

Art Talk     12 noon      William Siegal Gallery, booth 102
William Siegal, owner, William Siegal Gallery, discusses Pre-Columbian textiles from the Andes in a variety of contexts.

Mary Ann Willson Maremaid NYSHA ex coll Lipman

Collecting Folk Art in America: How it Began, Who Began It, and Why

Lecture     1:00 pm      Lecture Hall

There wasn’t just one—but several—motives for collectors to begin to gather the primitive portraits, weathervanes, sculptures, and other folk-art objects that mainstream Americans had swept into dustbins or consigned to chicken coops and cowsheds by the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These motives were different from those of today’s collectors of the same objects, and the reasons are fascinating.

Elizabeth Stillinger, independent American decorative arts scholar and lecturer, discusses several of America’s outstanding early collectors of the genre—collectors as important yet as different from one another as Edwin “AtLee” Barber, who formed the renowned collection of “Pennsylvania Dutch stuff” at the Philadelphia Museum; Hamilton Easter Field, who founded the artists’ colony in Ogunquit, Maine, that produced a celebrated group of modern-artist collectors; and Nina Fletcher Little, a proper Bostonian who amassed what was arguably the greatest New England collection of all time—auctioned at her death.

What these pioneers saw in their simple furnishings, paintings, and carvings tells an evolving story of Americans’ perception of themselves—and of the history of ourselves as a people.

A Kind of Archeology: Collecting Folk art in America 1876-1976

Booksigning     2:00 pm      Lecture Hall

Elizabeth Stillinger, independent American decorative arts scholar and lecturer, will sign copies of her recently published book - considered a masterful overview offering an enduring contribution to histories of American art, following her lecture Collecting Folk Art in America: How it Began, Who Began It, and Why at 1 pm.

P. T. Barnum and General Tom Thumb Samuel Root (1819–1889) and Marcus Aurelius Root (1808–1888) ca. 1850 Half-plate daguerreotype Case open: 6.25 × 9.75 × .5 inches; plate: 5.5 × 4.25 inches National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, NPG.93.154

Circus Folk: Art and Design under the American Big Top

Lecture     2:30 pm      Lecture Hall

For over two hundred years, the circus has variously served as a source of inspiration and a forum for innovation in American art and design. Matthew Wittmann, Postdoctoral Fellow at the Bard Graduate Center, explores this extraordinary history through a discussion of some of the signature objects in the Bard Graduate Center’s current exhibition, Circus and the City: New York, 1793-2010 which he curated.

Wittmann received his Ph.D. in 2010 from the Program in American Culture at the University of Michigan. His research and teaching focus on the cultural, material, and transnational history of the United States during the nineteenth century and on the dynamics of popular entertainment in particular. His dissertation looked at the experiences of U.S. entertainers that traveled around the Pacific in the nineteenth century and the reciprocal interactions and exchanges they had with the people and places that they encountered along the way.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit: http://www.bgc.bard.edu/gallery/gallery-at-bgc/main-gallery.html

Friday, January 25

William Hawkins Building of the Statue of Liberty, 1987 enamel on masonite 48 x 56.5 inches Ricco/Maresca Gallery

Folk Art Perspective: A Tour of the Metro Show with Lee Kogan

Tour     12 noon      Show floor

Lee Kogan, Curator Emerita, American Folk Art Museum, guides visitors through the show highlighting distinctive folk art works. 

In her years at the American Folk Art Museum, Lee Kogan has organized numerous exhibitions, Quilt Weekends, symposia fostering the creativity of contemporary self-taught artists, seminars on traditional folk art, and more than 100 academic and craft heritage courses. She lectures widely and has written essays on southern and other American folk art for catalogs, magazines and books, in addition to serving as curator and editor for many important texts in the field. She holds an M.A. from Columbia University and an M.A. from New York University.

A.G. Rizzoli Mrs. Geo. Powleson, Symbolically Portrayed/The Mother Tower of Jewels, 1936 ink on rag paper 37 x 25 inches

Amplifying Achilles...Explaining the Mysteries of A.G. Rizzoli

Art Talk     1:30 pm      The Ames Gallery, booth 109
Bonnie Grossman, owner, The Ames Gallery, provides insights into the architectural portraits of A.G. Rizzoli - meticulous, highly detailed drawings of Gothic cathedrals, skyscrapers, and domes intended as symbolic stand-ins for people he knew. Grossman highlights her “life altering” experience of researching the encrypted drawings and diving into the mysteries of the works...some solved and some unsolved.

A.G. Rizzoli, Architect of Magnificent Visions

Booksigning     2:00 pm      The Ames Gallery, booth 109
Bonnie Grossman signs copies of the definitive study of the life and work of this visionary artist and architect of which she wrote the introduction.  Authors of the text include Jo Farb Hernandez, John Beardsley and Roger Cardinal.

Half Spotted Cat Bill Traylor (1854-1947) c.1939-1942 Poster paint and pencil on cardboard. 12 x 16 inches unframed, 23 x 19 inches framed

Bill Traylor, Unfiltered

Art Talk     2:30 pm      Just Folk, booth 209
Susan Baerwald discusses the life and works of master artist Bill Traylor accompanied by Bill Traylor: Chasing Ghosts, a short film by Jeffrey Wolf which traces the artist’s historical context and artistic development.  

Bill Traylor, Unfiltered

Booksigning     3:00 pm      Just Folk, booth 209
Susan Baerwald and Marcy Carsey, owners, Just Folk, sign copies of their expansive 79-page book (including commentaries and bibliography) which accompanied the dynamic exhibit at the gallery in 2009, featuring 28 works by the renowned artist from a private collection in Switzerland.

Men Drinking Bill Traylor, c. 1940 The Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection Courtesy of Philadelphia Museum of Art Photograph by Will Brown

Collecting "Great and Mighty Things": A Conversation with Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz

Lecture     4:00 pm      Lecture Hall

Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz have collected works by self-taught American artists for more than three decades, and have promised more than 200 works from their spectacular collection to the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The exhibition “Great and Mighty Things”: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, opening March 3rd at the museum, celebrates this gift. In this conversation, Jill and Sheldon discuss the formation of their collection, their decision to give the art to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the process of preparing the show, with Cara Zimmerman, Executive Director, Foundation for Self-Taught Artists and one of the exhibition’s organizers.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit: http://www.philamuseum.org/exhibitions/768.html

Saturday, January 26

J. B. Murray Untitled, c. 1978-1988 tempera, marker/paper 25.5 x 19.5 inches

Crossroads and the Spirit: Comments on Bill Traylor and J.B. Murray

Lecture     11:00 am      Lecture Hall
Randall Morris, owner, Cavin-Morris Gallery, focuses on the new information and controversies in the studies of Bill Traylor and J.B. Murray by putting both master artists back in the context of their worlds and work in the American South - Traylor, specifically, has been the subject of two books recently with little factual commentary on the results.  Morris highlights the culture, both visionary and mundane, that they were part of, how spiritual life, both negative and positive, shaped their lives and explains their relationships to the yard show complex.

A rare New York City made tall clock by Effingham Embree, in an elegant Federal inlaid mahogany case, circa 1800.

A Practical Look at Tall Clocks, Inside and Out

Art Talk     11:15 am      Gary R. Sullivan Antiques Inc, booth 213

Clock expert, Gary Sullivan, owner, Gary R. Sullivan Antiques Inc, offers a refreshing look at the inner life of early clocks, particularly how to handle and evaluate them. With an up-close view inside an 18th century American Grandfather clock, Sullivan answers questions to demystify these amazing machines.

Bill Traylor Untitled Peg-legged Man, c. 1939-42 pencil, poster paint on found cardboard 11.5 x 8 inches Carl Hammer Gallery

Outsider Art Perspective: A Tour of the Metro Show with Cara Zimmerman

Tour     12 noon      Show floor

Cara Zimmerman, Executive Director, Foundation for Self-Taught Artists, guides visitors through the show highlighting significant pieces and important artists on view. 

Zimmerman earned her BA from Harvard University is currently a doctoral candidate in art history at the University of Delaware with a specialty in outsider and self-taught art where she has guest curated multiple exhibitions at the University of Delaware’s University Museums in addition to numerous special exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art since 2008. Her essays on self-taught artists have been published in Folk Art and Raw Vision, and will appear in forthcoming exhibition catalogs for the Ackland Art Museum, at UNC Chapel Hill, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Cara also served as the assistant editor at the American Folk Art Museum, New York.

Lubos Plny Untitled, 2006 ink on paper 33.25 x 32.25 inches Cavin-Morris Gallery

Lubos Plny: Infinite Circulation

Lecture     1 pm      Lecture Hall

Lubos Plny is a Czech artist living in Prague whose assemblages are composed of elements from newspapers, magazines, atlases and anatomy books, covered in layers of Indian ink. His work addresses anatomy, but at the heart of these assemblages lies something more: Plny’s reassembled bodies are transformed into labyrinthine networks, suggesting an infinite circulation.

Barbara Safarova, professor of aesthetics at Collège International de Philosophie, Paris and president, ABCD (art brut connaissance & diffusion), Paris discusses Plny’s work, asking: Is the artist simply a witness, delighting in the operation of the bodily machine or does his work map out a process of auto-generation?

George Widener Magic Square 12-21-2012 (Conspiracy), 2012 mixed media on paper 60 x 45 inches Ricco/Maresca Gallery

Crossover: At the Intersection of Art Brut and Contemporary Art

Lecture     2:30 pm      Lecture Hall

Since Art Brut was first appreciated for intellectual and aesthetic reasons as opposed to diagnostic or symptomatic ones, ethical questions have arisen: How should the work be presented to the public? How important is the artist’s biography in a contemporary art context? How do curators, collectors, critics and writers determine quality, both in general and within an artist’s body of work?

A Panel Discussion with Barbara Safarova, President, ABCD (art brut connaissance & diffusion; Juliana Driever, curator and writer; Frank Maresca, owner, Ricco/Maresca Gallery, New York; and Randall Morris, owner, Cavin-Morris Gallery.  Moderated by Leslie Umberger, a curator and writer specializing in the areas of folk and self-taught art.

Steven Ford Untitled (M0114B), 2012 linocut and collage, diptych 43.5 x 60 inches


Art Talk     4:00 pm      Dolan/Maxwell, booth 208
Creating works of compelling complexity using innovative techniques, artist Steven Ford discusses his large-scale prints - unique collages composed of color saturated printed elements. Expanding his concepts and methods, Ford translates his prints into fully integrated three-dimensional pieces for personal adornment by utilizing polymer and silver - also on view.

Works of Power

Art Talk     5:30 pm      Pavel Zoubok Gallery, booth 101
Sculpture, performance & installation artist Vanessa German performs several “spoken word arias” - multimedia, interactive performances that weave the power of traditional African storytelling, with performance poetry, comedy, hip hop, music and movement. German also discusses works from her new series: 21st Century JuJu: New Magic - gadgets for yo’ soul, you-decide technology, the un–digitized spirit, you betta’ recognize, ancient and brand new simultaneously.

"Knowing Makes Seeing Richer." 

— Morris Finkel (1923-2011), M. Finkel & Daughter

Morris Finkel first opened an antiques store on Pine Street in Philadelphia in November of 1947, continuing a family tradition in the antiques trade. Pine Street had been the historic antiques district in Philadelphia for over one hundred years, and was obviously the perfect location for a business selling period antiques. Situated at the bustling corner of 10th and Pine Streets, the business began and remains in a circa 1840 building with two floors of antique furniture from the 18th and 19th centuries, a large collection of period accessories and most importantly, an internationally acclaimed selection of antique samplers, needlework and silk embroideries from the 17th through the mid 19th centuries, which is the cornerstone of the business.
In 1975, Morris’s daughter, Amy Finkel, joined him, making this business a true family venture. Shortly thereafter, the name of the business was changed to “M. Finkel & Daughter”, reflecting the identity of the two business partners. The father/daughter team combines an interest in antique furniture with the world of historic samplers and needlework. Amy has lectured, written and consulted widely and is well respected for her scholarly approach within this academic field. The Finkels have worked with private clients, with major museums and with historical societies to form some of the most important collections in America.

10 am - 12 noon  2 Lincoln Square (Columbus Avenue at 66th Street) 
William Matthew Prior Symposium hosted at the American Folk Art Museum
Bostonian William Matthew Prior was one of the most prom.. More 

2:00 pm  Lecture Hall 
A Kind of Archeology: Collecting Folk art in America 1876-1976
Elizabeth Stillinger, independent American decorative ar.. More 

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