Category Archives: Art Curator
William Edmondson, Robson Collection

Collecting Self: The Robson Collection at the Smithsonian American Art Museum

To talk about the late Margaret Z. Robson’s collection of self-taught art—recently donated to the Smithsonian American Art Museum—you have to talk about how she collected. “My mother was basically a farm girl,” says her son, Douglas Robson, steward of the collection after Mrs. Robson’s passing. “So she was sort of an untrained artist in […]


Artist Inclusion through Creative Art Centers

Outsider art, since its conception by Jean Dubuffet and Roger Cardinal, has had a complicated relationship with the many disparate and marginalized communities that it has come to represent. The developmentally disabled community is no exception tothis limitation. While the recognition of work by artists of different abilities is important, the other-ing of any artist […]


Equality and Materiality: Katherine Jentleson’s Vision for The High’s Folk and Self-Taught Art Collection

Since 1994 the High has developed one of the most established collections of folk and self-taught art in the country. In January of 2015, Katherine Jentleson was appointed to the position of Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, GA. Jentleson’s interest in self- […]

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A Conversation with Libby Werbel Director, PMOMA

Since its inception approximately three years ago, the Portland Museum of Modern Art (PMOMA) has been a dynamic presence in Portland’s art scene. Founded by Portland, Oregon native Libby Werbel, PMOMA is nestled in a space fashioned from a storage area in the basement of Portland’s Mississippi Records. “My relationship to them [Mississippi Records] is […]

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Evolving Identities: the Bonovitz Collection

Collectors can play many different roles in the art world – patron, tastemaker, advocate, investor. In the evolving world of outsider art, these roles hold an even greater significance. In a field largely at odds with how to discuss, describe, foster, and exhibit work, collectors play an enormous role in the future of how all […]

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Midwestern Values: Contemporary and Self-Taught

Duff Lindsay first met outsider artist Elijah Pierce when the art dealer was studying film at the Ohio State University. “I was blown away by the man and his work, and there was something about him that took my breath away,” says Lindsay, who established his eponymous, Columbus-based art gallery in 1999. “I was so […]

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The Outsider on the Inside

Sometimes, it takes an outsider to get the inside scoop. Andrew Edlin, the director of the Outsider Art Fair and a gallery in Chelsea (moving to a location on the Bowery in the fall), began his career in the art world as much on the fringes as the artists he represents. “I didn’t come into […]

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The Vernacular of Tom Patterson

Art is ubiquitous in everyday life. We encounter it practically from birth, even if it doesn’t always speak to us. Critic and curator Tom Patterson knows this. And so he considers carefully my question about the first piece of art that spoke to him. “Aside from animated cartoons, comics and other graphic imagery for kids […]


A Resource in the National Arts and Disability Center

Ask Dr. Olivia Raynor, director of UCLA’s National Arts and Disability Center, NADC, about the biggest decision they made when founding the center and she’ll tell you about something they didn’t do. “One of the most important decisions we made was to exclude art therapy and the use of the arts for rehabilitation purposes as […]


The Hahn Collection and Self-Taught Art at the High Museum

After only four years as a painter, Georgian artist Mattie Lou O’Kelley sold a piece called “Spring Vegetable Scene” to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. It was 1975, and O’Kelley was 64. Before becoming a professional artist, she had been a farmer, seamstress, cook, waitress, and millworker. With a ninth grade education and […]