• Diablitos in the Details: The Curious Tale of Mexico's Most Peculiar Pottery In the rural Mexican state of Michoacán, devils, mermaids, saints, sun gods, and drunks can all be found mixing it up and having a great time. Each of these characters, and many more, inhabit the strange universe depicted in sculptures produced in the tiny town of Ocumicho. "Though sanitized into angels and last-supper scenes for tourist markets, authentic Marcelino figures are almost always ob…
  • Homespun Beauty: Jim Linderman on Folk Art’s Authentic Appeal My interest in 20th-century American self-taught art came about after I had gone through a million other things—from stamps to bootleg records to books about who killed JFK. I had been at CBS News in New York City for about 8 or 10 years, and I was kind of burned out from working too hard and drinking too much. So I just stopped doing both for a while. It was 1981, and the art scene was explodi…
  • The Last of the American Folk Arts Decoration for the simple farmhouse or the village-dwelling artisan's cottage in all countries began and generally remained within the realm of the folk arts. A man might be a potter or a country joiner accustomed to turning his hand from carpentry to making simple furniture for his neighbors who followed other trades or tilled the soil. Whatever was made under such circumstances was simple in con…
  • Folk Art in Pennsylvania Dutch Cooky Cutters It might seem that so untractable a medium as cooky dough would lend itself to few varieties of design, but among the homely articles of the old-time Pennsylvania-Dutch household, none represents more clearly the artistic ingenuity of the craftsman than the tin cooky cutter. Made largely by the itinerant or the local tinsmith, these primitive representations of human, animal, and botanical …