Some Free Art

Yesterday we passed in – and out – of the American Folk Art Museum. Fortunately, the museum is free, or else we wouldn’t have thought of going in. The entrance is flanked on the left by the gift shop and by a 9/11 memorial quilt on the right. Beyond these is the museum itself: three moderately-sized gallery rooms.

The exhibits featured artists Vestie Davis and Malcah Zeldis, as well as an assortment of New York artwork.

Davis’ works were the most interesting of the lot. Apparently Davis took black-and-white photographs of scenes at Coney Island and Rockefeller Center and painted over them. Buildings are thus depicted in pristine detail, but the people – practically all of European descent – were very much the same. Still, Davis sought to preserve an era when New York was much less diverse.

The other works of art focused mostly on New York, but they seemed subpar and not realistic. Still, there was a sign explaining that some patrons preferred seeing their dream house rather than what it really was.

It turns out that we had visited the Lincoln Center branch of the American Folk Art Museum, which explains the free admission for the few exhibits. It’s worth checking out, even the gift shop. Just don’t expect too much.

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