Spotlight On: The American Folk Art Museum

The American Folk Art Museum was a museum I discovered late in my NYC-life, but it quickly became one of my favorites. Housed in a narrow building on the same block as the MoMA, it’s not only free to enter, but features some of the country’s most beautiful examples of folk art.

I was reminded of the AFAM when I read a saddening article a few months ago about its possible closure due to an overwhelming budget deficit. Luckily, donors came forward immediately to save the day, and talks initiated with fellow museums for future partnerships. Personally, I was surprised that AFAM hadn’t utilized traveling exhibits before now, but that may have been due to lack of marketing/staffing cuts. I mean, why wasn’t the Pricked: Extreme Embroidery show of 2008 at AFAM instead of the Museum of Arts and Design? Or, at the very least, why didn’t AFAM put on a sister show, featuring select pieces from its own embroidery collection? Or maybe they did all of the above…but noone knew about it because there was no money for advertising…

There are so many of these tiny museums in the City, and most are free, so next time you visit, forgo the Guggenheim and MoMA (but don’t skip the Met!) and do some museum/gallery hopping that’s off the beaten path. And you can even make a night of it –  The American Folk Art Museum offers free music every Friday night!

Exterior photo from AE Design
Interior photo from Wiki Commons

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