Canadian Folk Art to 1950 is a 520 page compendium beautifully showcasing museum quality examples of folk art by Canadian artists and craftsmen. Each example is presented in a full color photograph taken by James A. Chambers and is accompanied by a succinct descriptive comment. A superbly presented overview that is informed and informative, this coffee table paperback edition of Canadian Folk Art to 1950 is highly recommended for personal Folk Art Book collections. The Midwest Book Review, The Art Shelf
"John A. Fleming and Michael J. Rowan take the broad view in their gorgeous new book Canadian Folk Art to 1950, just published by the University of Alberta Press.... To create what must be the largest, most varied catalogue of its kind, Fleming and Rowan scoured public and private collections across the country, sometimes coming across unique examples by accident.... This heavy square book (available in paper or hardcover) isnt the sort of volume you would want to consume in one or two sittings. Better to return to it over and over again, to ponder the stories of another age that are bound up in its hundreds of artifacts." Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal, January 10, 2013 [Full review at: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/books/Book+review+Lavish+volume+celebrates+beauty/7803139/story.html]
"More than five hundred pages and packed with surprises, this compendium of Canadian folk art will be a revelation to many American collectors and dealers... Many of the objects seem distinctively Canadian and invitingly different from American material, which is what makes the book so refreshing. The stunning photography is by James A. Chambers." Antiques Magazine, January/February 2013
# 10 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list for the week on January 25, 2013.
"Humor, whimsy, beauty, and imagination abound in the book's pages... The photographs by James A. Chambers beautifully capture color and details. This immense project, six years in the making, was supported by numerous collectors, dealers, auctioneers, curators, historians, and museum staff... Folk art enthusiasts will no doubt respond to this book with the 'enthusiasm and pleasure' that the authors mention in the preface." Maine Antique Digest, March 2013
"As you approach Canadian Folk Art to 1950, the cover shows a painted detail of a hunter and his dog from a circa-1850 Quebec gameboard. Enticed, you lift the book, fully appreciating its 560-page heft, and then you fan through it, sending off the scent of freshly-printed ink and the near-cinematic frame-flashing of hundreds of vivid examples of Canadian folk art.... the authors and photography have successfully married the structural and visual aspects of Canadian traditional folk art into a coherent whole. Structure and theme and mood are simply a foundation that allows the reader to connect with the illustrated works, to stop and ponder the sublime beauty of folk art..." Larry Thompson, The Upper Canadian Antique Showcase, March-April 2013
"[Canadian Folk Art] has more than 425 artifacts with captioned photos from the nineteenth century through the 1950s. The authors emphasize material culture, reference fine art versus craft, and let in the fresh air of association and identity. With unique thematic arrangement they encourage personal response to the aesthetic of objects as one might to fine art. The rich images of objects are split up by theme, but not genre, and create 'visual poetry' inviting personal connections. The authors goal is to examine attraction to and collection of traditional arts and to wonder about their 'necessary and enduring value.' They succeed.... Some of the curious objects...make this a visual antiques market extravaganza. It showcases beauty, cleverness, and skill of fine specimens that could so easily be lost to posterity had it not been for this excellent compilation." Marianne L. Sade, Art Libraries Society of North America, May 2013
From the Back Cover
John Fleming, Michael Rowan, and James Chambers have made use of their extensive networks, word of mouth, and even fortuitous accidents to discover and record well over 425 distinctive examples of Canadian folk art. They have organized the book into seventeen affinities, which emphasize folk arts multiple manifestations and its aesthetic of the everyday. Canadas material heritage is told through paintings and carvings, boxes and game boards, quilts and rugs, tables and trade signsto mention a few. Readers will gain an intense appreciation of the understated particulars of Canadas history and evolving cultural identity. Canadianists, historians, curators, collectors, and dealers, as well as anyone who appreciates folk art, will want to have this sumptuous book close at hand. Front Flap: A daring and beautifully articulated re-examination of Canadas material heritage with close to 500 eye-catching images. Dr. Robert Klymasz, curator emeritus, Canadian Museum of Civilization. Folk art requires no formal training, and is easy to relate to because its immediacy in the objects and activities of our daily routines is largely an unrequited presence that asks nothing of us in return. Our intention is to provoke new ways and perspectives upon these concrete manifestations of the urge to create and shape our surroundings expressed by the makers of folk art objects within the spaces of our physical existence as measured by the human concepts of time, space, and three dimensionality. From the Introduction Back Flap: John A. Fleming is Professor Emeritus in the Department of French and the Centre for Comparative Literature, and a former Director of the Museum Studies Program, all at the University of Toronto. Michael J. Rowan is a graduate in Fine Arts, and has been an antiques dealer, appraiser, and museum consultant since 1973. He specializes in folk art and ethnic furniture. He lives in Green River near Toronto. James A. Chambers has been a professional photographer and photo-based artist for more than 35 years. A noted photographer for art books, he was formerly head photographer at the Art Gallery of Ontario. He lives in Hamilton. In 2004 the University of Alberta Press published their first collaboration, Folk Furniture of Canada's Doukhobors, Hutterites, Mennonites and Ukrainians.
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