American Folk Art Museum
45 West 53rd Street
Between 5th and 6th Avenues
NYC, NY 10019
Museum Overview and Collection
Masterpieces of American Jewelry
Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 18, 2005
A hidden treasure among midtown museums is American Folk Art Museum in an elegant new building on West 53rd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues. This is a compact enough museum to explore on one morning or afternoon, and it’s expansive enough to house a permanent collection, as well as at least two special exhibits. There are also evening and afternoon performances, panel discussions, and lectures. On a lunch break, you can enjoy a brief gallery talk with a professional curator, and there are also professional development programs for educators.
Today I visited the exhibit “Blue”. The Museum has organized a collection of 30 objects, paintings, quilts, stoneware, all in various shades and hues of blue. My favorites were the art materials and quilts in exquisite tones and textures. I also visited “Masterpieces of American Jewelry” and saw brooches, necklaces, and bracelets, all once owned by iconic stars, such as Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Grace Kelly, and Joan Crawford. There was a jeweled ballerina from Van Cleef & Arpels, an Orchid Brooch from Tiffany & Co., and a 1950’s gold necklace by Alexander Calder. There were also Americana pieces, depicting flags, war victories, and prohibition. In the permanent collection, called “Folk Art Revealed”, three centuries of American Folk Art are displayed, with furniture, paintings, wooden home objects, sculptures, weathervanes, and other cultural artifacts.
Visit American Folk Art Museum, and look for additional comments on upcoming exhibitions and events. Tell them you saw them on RobertaOnTheArts.com.