Visual culture today draws from a rich history of folk art, from signage and advertising right through to fine art. The library collection reflects this variety with books that explore traditional crafts, the hand-made and current folk art. These traditions and skills have become a source for many contemporary artists and are featured throughout the collection.
Folk art is an established subject in many countries; however, in Britain the genre remains elusive. Rarely considered in the context of art history, folk art has been viewed as part of social history or folklore studies. This publication unites an extraordinary selection of objects, exploring the threshold between art and artefact and challenging perceptions of high art. to reassess it’s position in art history, and to examine the often-neglected role in the story of art in Britain.
Folk Art remains steeped in tradition and often created by self-taught artists and artisans, the often humble but always remarkable objects in this exhibition catalogue include everything from ships’ figureheads to quirky shop signs,this book provides an illuminating introduction to this subject.
Unsophisticated art is the art of everyday life. During the 1940s Barbara Jones set about documenting this everyday art throughout Britain, visiting fairgrounds, tattoo parlours, taxidermists, houseboats, high street shops, seaside piers and amusement arcades. She befriended people who lived afloat on redundant canalways and studied the way they decorated their boats. Her journey was an epic undertaking and her achievement remains groundbreaking.
This book features highlights from Russian artist Vladimir Arkhipovs extraordinary collection of unique inventions, objects made by Russians at a time when the Soviet Union was collapsing. His archive includes hundreds of contraptions with idiosyncractic functional qualities made for inside and outside the home, for example a coathook fashioned from a toothbrush or a TV antenna made out of forks. Each of these quirky artifacts of Soviet culture is accompanied by a photograph of the maker and the story behind the object