The American Folk Art Museum in New York City has been awarded funding necessary to digitize and make fully accessible 115 issues of The Clarion and Folk Art magazines, which the museum produced from 1971 through 2008.
Museum trustee Karin Fielding and her husband, Dr. Jonathan Fielding, matched a grant from the Friends of Heritage Preservation; these grants were further bolstered by a gift from the American Folk Art Society. The funding will enable the museum to scan, digitize, and make freely available on line four decades of irreplaceable scholarship.
Published (on average) three times each year, The Clarion, later called Folk Art, was for more than 30 years a forum for original research and new scholarship in the field of American folk art. The articles embraced new perspectives on a wide variety of topics from the 18th century through the present, ranging from traditional arts such as portraiture, schoolgirl arts, painted furniture, and pottery to original discourses on under-recognized artists whose creative expression often defies categorization and who came to their art making through unconventional paths and in their use of unorthodox materials. Features and articles were written by not only American Folk Art Museum curators, but also by scholars and experts in a variety of fields. The illustrated publications included news about the museum and exhibitions around the country, illustrated advertisements from dealers and auction houses, and other related information.
The searchable archive is expected to launch in early 2014. The museum also plans to create a boxed set of CD-ROMs that will provide full searchable access to each issue of the magazines.
For more information about the American Folk Art Museum, visit (www.folkartmuseum.org).
Originally published in the May 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest