The Folk Spirit of Albany: Folk Art from the Collection of the Albany Institute of History & Art

January 26–May 25, 2008

Drawn from the Albany Institute's collection of folk art dating from the eighteenth century to the present, this exhibition features works by some of the best-known American folk artists, including Nehemiah Partridge, Ammi Phillips, Thomas Chambers, Fritz Vogt, and Samuel Robb, many of whom were clearly inspired by distinctive aspects of Albany’s history.

The folk artist, broadly defined, is a self-taught artist working outside of the fine arts tradition developed during the Renaissance. The art produced is the personal expression of its maker and reflects the society in which the artist lives.

This exhibition will highlight five types of folk artists: the professional artist, craft-tradition artist, event-inspired artist, leisure time or Sunday painter, and the schoolgirl.

“The Folk Spirit of Albany: Folk Art from the Collection of the Albany Institute of History & Art” features a selection of portraits, landscapes, sandpaper paintings, family records, mourning pictures, quilts, samplers, painted furniture, decorated stoneware, sculpture, carved cake boards, a circus train, and a cigar-store Indian—all with documented histories related to the art, history, and culture of the upper Hudson Valley.

Support for this exhibition has been provided by the estate of Harry D. and Anita Yates and the estate of Charles Schade.