Despite being situated next to the mighty MOMA, I still tend to think of the American Folk Art Museum as a little hidden gem. The confinments of the space lends well to tightly edited and engrossing shows. Time and time again, the method of display has also struck as remarkable. An example, the simple idea of mounting painted furniture at eye level for an exhibition a few years ago.
Founded in 1961, the Museum has been a catalyst for rethinking American cultural and visual history. From its formation, the institution has given the very idea that folk art can be studied as art a home. Rediscovering or discovering artistic talents and presenting ground breaking exhibition has made the Museum a continually enjoyable visit. From a scholarly perspective, the lovely library is also a joy to research in.
The building itself is fun, rather quirky, and allows for maximum natural light given its unforgiving street position. Architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien are responsible and have been reworded with much critical praise.
The American Folk Art Museum is located at 45 W. 53rd Street, New York.