Folk Art


46.38 Carl Hoffman Alms House 1872 Oil on Canvas 48″ x 33″ Museum Purchase

The Everhart Museum has an outstanding collection of American Folk Art, selections from which are on permanent display. Folk art is most often defined as work produced by artists who did not undertake academic training and whose work was created for the population at large. It was in 1934 that Mr. and Mrs. John Law Robertson lent significant pieces of American Folk Art for an exhibition at the Everhart Museum. Most of these collections were later acquired in the years 1946 to 1948 and these form the base of the extensive American Folk Art collection. Mrs. Robertson was one of the first individuals who exclusively dedicated time and money to develop on one of the seminal collections of folk art in the country. Her enthusiasm for folk art is recorded in letters stored in the Museum archives where she explicitly states her commitment to, and passion for, art that was frequently ignored by institutions exclusively dedicated to ‘fine arts’. Mrs. Robertson, an area native, balked at the conventional, conservative trends of the art world in favor of what she deemed of value. Like other early folk art collectors, she sought American art outside the established halls of the Academy, understanding the intrinsic beauty, the evident craftsmanship, and the inherent history of these objects.