"Folk Art to 1950" book cover
John A. Fleming and Michael J. Rowan, "Folk Art to 1950" book cover.
Folk Art to 1950
John A. Fleming and Michael J. Rowan
University of Alberta Press, 2012
Chock-full of everything from tin weather vanes and painted game boards to carved barber poles and knife handles, this book resembles a cabinet of curiosities or, perhaps, the attic of a centuries-old farmhouse – minus the dust. At more than 500 pages, it’s both encyclopedic and accessible, with short but informative texts that contextualize each piece, engagingly photographed by James A. Chambers. The authors – one an academic and the other an antiques dealer – structured the book with clustered themes such as gardening, domestic life and tools of the trade. “Folk art requires no formal training, and is easy to relate to because its immediacy in the objects and activities of our daily routines is largely an unrequited presence that asks nothing of us in return,” they say. The book is an interesting browse. And if you like odd handcrafted gizmos, you may fall hook, line and duck decoy.