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A Masterpiece And A Moveable Feast

May 2024
1min read


Two recent color portfolios we presented deserve some amplification. The first, “Art of the People” (February/March, 1980), included a painting entitled View of the Schuylkill County Almshouse Property, at the Year 1881 and brought us a letter from Elwood M. Young of Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, which serves to underscore the fact that most folk art has to endure years of mild ridicule before coming into its own:

“This picture ‘shook me up,’ you might say, when I saw it for the first time. You see, my great-grandfather, John Morgan, was one of the three Schuylkill County Poor Directors in 1881. My mother’s family laughed about it over the years and often joked about it being a ‘masterpiece.’ Were they alive today, they would realize their error.”

The second portfolio, “The Working American” (June/July, 1980), did not include something that should have been included. In presenting a selection of paintings from an exhibit put together by District 1199, National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees in New York City, we neglected to mention that it was a traveling exhibit under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Already it has appeared in Manhattan, Detroit, Rochester, Chicago, and Birmingham, and currently can be seen at the Cultural Center of the New Jersey State Museum in Trenton. On November 22, it moves to the Museum of Our National Heritage in Lexington, Massachusetts, where it will remain until January 4 of next year.

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