In 2017, the American Folk Art Museum in Manhattan opened an offshoot space for the exhibition of artworks from the museum’s vast collection of some 8,000 items. Entitled the Self-Taught Genius Gallery, visitors to this Long Island City space will find folk artworks made by extraordinary self-taught (also referred to as “outsider” or “Naïve”) artists over the last 300-odd years.
The gallery’s name references “Self-Taught Genius: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum,” a landmark exhibition that debuted at the American Folk Art Museum in 2014 before making its way to six additional museums around the country, from the Figge Art Museum in Davenport, Iowa, to the Tampa Museum of Art in Florida, where its national tour ended in January 2017.
The Self-Taught Genius Gallery’s debut showcase presented a selection of over 50 artworks featured in the “Self-Taught Genius” exhibition, including “Dividing of the Ways” (1947) by the beloved Anna Mary Robertson “Grandma” Moses, and “The Peaceable Kingdom” (1845) by Edward Hicks, an icon of Quaker art.
The Self-Taught Genius Gallery continues to host a rotating program of exhibitions spotlighting the spectacular oeuvres of lesser-known American artists who have created free of institutionalized methods, tastes, and trends.