Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence, Vol. I Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana Purchase Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence, Vol. II: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana Purchase

Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence, Vol. I:
Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana

This magnificent book, which has been called "a museum without walls" by Maine Antique Digest, presents stunning photographs of more than 200 objects from the extraordinary collection of Jane Katcher, along with scholarly essays by Jean M. Burks, Paul S. D’Ambrosio, Erin E. Eisenbarth, Robin Jaffee Frank, Robert Hunter, Patricia E. Kane, Jane Katcher, Richard Miller, Charles Santore, Scott T. Swank, and Philip Zea.

I contributed four essays: "United As This Geart You See: Memories of Friendship and Family," on early handmade tokensof love and friendship; "Academy and School Work," on early female education and the needlework, drawings, and painted furniture made or decorated by young female students; "Boxes and Baskets," which explores a wide range of paint decorated boxes and utilitarian baskets; and "Humanizing the Mundane,"an exploration of how and why great utilitarian objects engage and move us.

The distinguished group of scholars discuss select objects from the collection within the context of aesthetics as well as social issues. There are also explorations of craft methods and artistic strategies practiced by the artists and artisans represented in the collection. Separate essays on the Shaker and the Pennsylvania-German communities concentrate on the unique features of their material cultures and their religious and social orientations. With more than two hundred previously unpublished works, this generously illustrated book is esential for anyone interested in American folk art or decorative arts.

For more information, be sure to visit Jane Katcher's extensive web site.

Expressions of Innocence and Eloquence, Vol. II:
Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana

Volume II presents more than one hundred recent acquisitions that are presented through exceptional photography and insightful scholarly essays. Familiar categories of portraits, quilts, weathervanes, boxes, trade signs, miniature portraits, schoolgirl art, furniture, and Shaker objects are examined from new and innovative perspectives. Discussions include the craft methods and artistic strategies practiced by some of the makers. A number of essays explore aspects of family ownership, new discoveries about specific artists and original interpretative analysis. Essayists include Alan Andersen, Deborah M. Child, Paul S. D’Ambrosio, Erin E. Eisenbarth, Robin Jaffee Frank, Jane Katcher, Richard Miller, David A. Schorsch, Peter Swift Seibert, Richard W. Stevenson, and Robert W. Wilkins.

I contributed three essays: "Dat So La Lee and Her Baskets," on the incomparable Washoe weaver Louisa Keyser; "A Fame Weathervane," a study of the history and mythology behind a rare and unusual New England vane; and "Jewish American Folk Art: Between Two Worlds," which puts a unique fraktur mizrach attributed to the Lacaster County artist Samuel Bentz and one of several Baltimore album quilts that appear to have been made by Jewish women into historical and social context.

Inspired Traditions: Selections from the Jane Katcher Collection of Americana, which included many of the extraordinary extraoedinaryobjects studied in the book,was on view at the Fenimore Art Museum in Coopertown, New York in the fall of 2011.


America's Traditional Crafts by Robert Shaw


Published in 1993, America's Traditional Crafts surveys a wide range of handmade utilitarian objects, including boxes and baskets, quilts and coverlets, hooked and sewn rugs, bird and fish decoys, Native American bead and quill work, Navajo weavings,scrimshaw tools, wooden canes,Western saddles and dlesleatherwork, wrought iron, tinware, carved and turned woodenware, stoneware and redware pottery, and paint decorated furniture. In addition to a host of historic masterpieces, the book also includes outstanding recent work by such master craftspeople as Sam Maloof, Rude Osolnick, Philip Moulthrop, Harold Haertel, Michael James, Nancy Crow, and Stephen Zeh, all of whom honored, enlivened, and extended traditional forms and techniques during the second half of the twentieth century.

"This astonishing survey of American crafts from the early 1800s to the present reveals that craft objects often achieve fine-art levels of beauty, sophistication, and originality. In his engaging text, Shawprovides valuable historical perspective by showing, for example, how craft co-operatives during the Depression revived and modified 19th-century rug-making techniques, or how African Americans and Native Americans adapted the European-American tradition of hand-carved walking sticks, adding features derived from their own iconographic customs. Anyone interested in crafts will want to own this extraordinary showcase of living traditions, illustrated with 310 color photographs."
Publishers Weekly
American Baskets by Robert Shaw


Published in 2000, American Baskets is the only study of American traditions that
encompasses Native American, African-American, and Anglo-American artisans alike.
It includes extraordinary examples of African-American seagrass baskets from South
Carolina and the Georgia Sea Islands; Native American baskets by a host of tribes from
the New England to Louisana to the Pacific Northwest; and Anglo-American baskets
from New England,Nantucket Island, Appalachia, and Pennsylvania German and
Shaker communities.

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