American Folk Art Museum

Location: 45 W. 53rd St., New York The Folk Art Institute, a division of the American Folk Art Museum, was founded in 1985 to offer a concentration of study in the field of American folk art and related disciplines. The program, which has been approved and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, culminates in a certificate by the Folk Art Institute. The inspiration for folk art is also often tied to critical moments in America‘s history, especially times of war or national celebration, and to an individual‘s personal response to those events. Symbols of liberty, for instance, became part of the common language as soon as there was an independent nation to applaud. Pilei, liberty figures, American flags, and the Great Seal were just some of the images adapted in forms such as weathervanes, textiles, and schoolgirl and decorative arts. By bringing these symbols to their homes, ordinary citizens actively participated in the drama of American statehood. Some artworks and objects, however, today serve as reminders that reality is relative rather than immutable, and that America is an idea that historically not everyone has shared.