Folk Couture:

Fashion and Folk Art

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 to Saturday, December 31, 2016

Fashion has always found inspiration in unpredictable sources: art, life, history — there are no boundaries. In this spirit, the American Folk Art Museum invited thirteen emerging and established designers to creatively respond to its encompassing collections that are so expressive of the human experience in a wide variety of materials and mediums over three centuries.

The Museum’s collection offers piercing insights into personal narratives and artistic journeys, cultural trends, and historical moments. Each of the designers was presented with the unique opportunity to be moved by an artwork or group of artworks from the Museum’s collection and to translate this emotion into a wearable ensemble. The relationship between inspiration and creation was further enhanced through the installation of the designers’ ensembles alongside the artworks that influenced them.

The unusual collaboration between the fashion designers and the American Folk Art Museum reinforces the undeniable power of each artform as a vital visual expression. The rich variety of objects in the Museum’s collection, ranging from portraits, quilts and textiles, and the singular work of contemporary self-taught artists, resulted in creations as diverse, dazzling, and surprising as the artworks that inspired them.

Organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York, and circulated by the Huntsville Museum of Art, Alabama. The tour of this exhibition is supported in part by the Leir Charitable Foundations in memory of Henry J. and Erna D. Leir, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a state agency.