Folk Art

angusunfinishedThis morning Frank shared a portion of the Art History book he’s been reading.

The writer was speaking of painters prior to the Renaissance facing a more difficult task than sculptors because there was so little Greek and Roman 2D art surviving.

This seemed a very elitist P.O.V. It seemed to assume that all artists were educated and would have been well versed in history. It came from the belief that Art is the province of academe.

I wondered about the the people that were creating other things, things that might now be classified as folk art.

I believe the urge to make things for decorative purposes or for self -expression has always existed. Of course it does require a certain amount of free time and that is a result of a certain degree of economic balance in a particular culture.

If, to provide your daily bread, you must toil until your head hits the pillow or lump of hay,  you may not have the energy to get at Art for Art’s Sake. Still, I believe that some folks did in all places at all times.

Even those that were enslaved could find some small way to scratch out something akin to art.

It wouldn’t have been looked upon or classified as art. It would have been born of the daily work one did. It would have come out in the materials at hand. A person prone to dreamy, imaginative flights of mind might have, once upon a time,  used those materials in an unusual way.  That use, might have been relatively purposeless and in that, subversive.

I would love to read a long history of folk art, folk creations. Imagine the research, traveling all over the world to try to find that point where work leached into art. Searching places  for proof of moments in which the worm turned.

I don’t believe this would be an easy task. You would have to have a lifetime.

Joseph Campbell did this kind of research in a slightly different vein.

The Antiques Roadshow skips around this territory, too.It is always fascinating to see

Folk Art Societies exist.

It’s probably a safe bet that much of the evidence had gone to dust or maybe it’s buried in someone’s barn.

If one  were capable of really good research one might be able to write an account of a fictional search for these elusive traces of the creative urge.


2 Responses to “Folk Art”

  1. You are so right. Folk art is a rather poor relaltive but for all that, no less significant.

    I have just recently come to blogging and talk on my own blog about a very particular kind of folk art which has been little studied and hardly ever wrritten about. I can see why that is though. It was not so easy in the days before the computer, to do the research.
    It’s taken me twelve years of research so far and it’s only recently I feel able to share my knowledge with others of like mind.

    The more we dig, the more we learn and the more we learn the better equipped we are to understand. Who was it that said, ” Those who do not know their history, repeat the mistakes of the past?”

  2. Lovely to hear about your research! Thanks for sharing. I will begin reading today. Thank you for this – something wonderful to explore.

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