American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection

Friday, February 11, 2022 to Sunday, May 22, 2022

America is a nation of stories.

Everyone has a story to tell—a life lived as a witness to and participant in events both private and shared. The stories that we tell as individuals are single strands in a grander narrative. Together, they build a consensus around the principles of a nation, maintaining a delicate balance between the one and the many, and the fulfillment of self and being better citizens. The exhibition captures the power of storytelling through artworks that express the dualities of artist and subject to reveal a simple truth: As much as we like to mythologize, America is not monolithic; the ideal and the reality diverge.

The artists in this exhibition have led vastly different lives, but they are all united as Americans. In this era of unremitting uniformity and conventionalizing through mass means of commercialization, communication, transportation, technology, and media, it is the very diversity of experience, heritage, perspective, and place that revitalizes, renews, and strengthens. Democracy’s promise is to welcome and direct that diversity toward an implicit and collective understanding of “the way things are.”

That is America.

Click here to view the label booklet.


This exhibition has been organized by the American Folk Art Museum, New York, with support provided by Art Bridges.



Originally curated for installation at the American Folk Art Museum, February 11, 2020 - January 3, 2021, by Stacy C. Hollander, Independent Curator. Tour coordinated by Emelie Gevalt, Curator of Folk Art, the American Folk Art Museum.


Exhibition Season Presenter 

City of Jacksonville 

Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville                                      

Lory Doolittle 

Ronald and Karen Rettner


Exhibition Lead Sponsor 

State of Florida                                                                            

The Robert D. Davis Family Endowment 

The Schultz Family Endowment 


Exhibition Sponsor 

Director’s Circle Donors at the Cummer Museum               
The Winston Family Foundation