cover image All American Folk Arts & Crafts

All American Folk Arts & Crafts

Rizzoli, Ketchum, William C. Ketchum, Jr.. Rizzoli International Publications, $45 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-0765-9

A child's sled with an American flag painted on it, the Penn Fire Insurance Company's cast-iron bust of William Penn, a lithograph of the Statue of Liberty on a cookie boxall are examples of familiar American symbols reworked into daily objects. This survey demonstrates how common images of home, freedom, religion and patriotism pop up in folk art. It also digresses widely into other areas to uncover serendipitous delights. There's a New England ""mourning picture,'' circa 1850, idealizing woman as keeper of the dead; a colorful 1973 painting of an Orthodox Jewish wedding; a swift, a gadget made of whale-ivory and bone, used to wind skeins of spun yarn. What this smorgasbord lacks in unity, it more than makes up for in exploring byways of folk art. Ketchum is author of American Folk Art of the Twentieth Century. (December 19)