‘With Liberty’ Showcases Smithsonian’s Folk Art Collection

WASHINGTON, DC—From weather vanes to sculptures composed of found objects, the Smithonian’s American folk art collection includes fine examples of work by self-taught artists from the 19th and 20th centuries.

“With Liberty” is a permanent exhibit at the American Art Museum and the selected objects “serve as a reminder that not all artists are formally trained, and that the making of art is as much an act of passion as of intellect.”

All photos by Arts Observer

“Weather Vane/Model of a Cadillac V-16 Sport Phaeton,” 1931 (molded copper, bronze and glass).

Detail of “Bottle Cap Figure with Mirror,” 1991 (bottle caps and mirror on wood) by Greg Warmack (“Mr. Imagination”).

Detail of “Marla,” 1982 (cut, soldered and riveted galvanized iron) by Irving Dominick.


“Head From a Ball Toss Game,” circa 1878 (carved and painted wood). According to the exhibit copy, such props “were used until the 1930s at Coney Island’s Steeplechase Park for a game known as ‘African Dodger.’ Originally players threw balls at a black man, eventually wooden heads replaced live targets.

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