- American Folk Art Museum
art museum in New York (New York City), N.Y., dedicated to the collection and exhibition of American folk art.Since its first incarnation in 1963, the American Folk Art Museum has focused on collecting and displaying important works and objects in a variety of mediums created by self-taught American artists and craftsmen. In 2001 the museum opened a new facility to the public. Designed by architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the eight-story building is an example of avant-garde architecture and has an appearance of being crafted in the manner of folk art, where common materials are used to extraordinary effect. The interior includes four floors of different-sized public galleries that house a variety of large and small objects.The museum's permanent collection includes fine art and Americana dating from the 17th century to contemporary times, with objects ranging from weather vanes to more-traditional fine arts, such as paintings, drawings, and photographs. Textiles, quilts, sculptures, and other three-dimensional pieces offer insights into various elements of American cultural heritage. A focal point of the collection is the work of Henry Darger, a Chicago folk artist who produced more than 30,000 pages of text and 300 watercolours, many more than 9 feet (2.7 metres) long. Darger worked in total obscurity until just before his death in 1973.
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