Lauren Lessing, Elizabeth Finch, et al.

A Usable Past

American Folk Art at the Colby College Museum of Art

Colby College Museum of Art 2016

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in ArtNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network August 15, 2017 Kirstin L. Ellsworth

A Usable Past: American Folk Art at the Colby College Museum of Art (Colby College Museum of Art, 2016) is a contemporary analysis of...

A Usable Past: American Folk Art at the Colby College Museum of Art (Colby College Museum of Art, 2016) is a contemporary analysis of paintings, works on paper, sculptures, needlework, quilts and other forms of folk art drawn primarily from the college’s American Heritage Collection donated by Edith Kemper and Ellerton Marcel Jette. Essays by contributors Lauren Lessing, Seth A. Thayer, Jr., Elizabeth Finch and Tanya Sheehan offer new insights into the definition and display of folk art. How should folk art fit into constructions of the American past and understandings of American Art? Individual entries detail the rich history of a variety of 19th Century American folk art objects from young women’s so-called accomplishment needlework pieces to portraiture and landscape painting by self-trained artists.


Kirstin L. Ellsworth has a Ph.D. in the History of Art from Indiana University (2005) and currently is an Assistant Professor of Art History at California State University Dominguez Hills. She can be reached at [email protected].

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