Published: October 2, 2015
FORT WORTH, TEXAS — The exhibition “Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum” will be on view at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art October 10–January 3. The exhibition highlights the roles of self-taught artists as central figures to the shared history of America whose contributions to the national life and conversation are paramount. Admission is free.
The show is organized by the American Folk Art Museum. It presents an original premise that considers the changing implications of self-taught in the United States from a deeply entrenched and widespread culture of self-education in the early national period to its usage today to describe artists working outside the art historical canon and often in isolated circumstances.
Some 100 works by a diverse group of artists, dating from the mid-Eighteenth through the early Twenty-First Century and representing more than 50 years of collecting by the American Folk Art Museum, will be on view. These include “Girl in Red Dress with Cat and Dog,” circa 1830–1835, an oil on canvas by Ammi Phillips (1788–1865); “The Encyclopedic Palace of the World,” circa 1950s, a towering model designed by Marino Auriti (1891–1980) for a new museum meant to hold all of human discovery in every field; “Flag Gate,” circa 1876, a gate by an unidentified artist used to celebrate the nation’s centennial; and a 6-foot-wide paneled watercolor and various bound and unbound volumes of the writings of Henry Darger (1892–1973).
Also on view will be an exquisitely stitched Whig Rose and Swag Border quilt, circa 1850, made by unidentified slaves on the Morton Plantation in Russellville, Ky., and the monumental “Mother Symbolically Represented/The Kathredal,” 1936, an ink rendering on rag paper by Achilles Rizzoli (1896–1981), who loved to play with words, and frequently used anagrams, acronyms and neologisms in his work.
Other works on view in the Amon Carter’s galleries dovetail richly with “Self-Taught Genius.” Drawn from private collections, the exhibition “Texas Folk Art” provides a fresh look at the lively and spirited works of self-taught artists from the Lone Star state. In addition, the faux-naïve monumental canvas by Esther Pearl Watson (b 1973), created specifically for display in the museum’s atrium, is a visionary memory painting reflecting the artist’s childhood in Comanche, Texas.
After closing at the Amon Carter, the exhibition travels to the New Orleans Museum of Art (February 26–May 22), Saint Louis Art Museum (June 19–September 11) and Tampa Museum of Art (October 1, 2016–January 8, 2017).
Amon Carter Museum of American Art is at 3501 Camp Bowie Boulevard. For information, 817-989-5067 or www.cartermuseum.org.
5 Church Hill Road / Newtown, CT 06470
Mon - Fri / 8:00 am - 5:01 pm