Museum of New Mexico Media Center Press Release

MOIFA Hosts Virtual Talk with Emelie Gevalt, Curator of Folk Art at the American Folk Art Museum

Museum of International Folk Art

September 29, 2020


The Museum of International Folk Art (MOIFA) on October 7, 2020, will host a free virtual discussion via Zoom with Emelie Gevalt titled “What is Folk? Museums, Markets, and the Invention of an American Art Tradition.” Gevalt is curator of folk art at the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM) in New York.

Since its popularization in the 1920s, the term “American folk art” has been used to mean different things to different people. This can include Americana collectors to modern artists, dealers, curators, and scholars across multiple disciplines. The genre has historically encompassed an equally broad range of objects, from carousel figures, quilts, and whirligigs to forms traditionally considered more academic, such as portraiture and landscape painting.  

Drawing on examples from the collection of the AFAM, Gevalt’s talk will offer a glimpse into the history of a sometimes unwieldy collecting category, tracing its development in both commercial and museum contexts, from the early 20th century into the present day. 

Gevalt is currently pursuing her doctorate in American art history at the University of Delaware. Often looking at earlier material through the lens of 20th-century histories of collecting and collective memory, her work encompasses research interests in 18th- and 19th-century American decorative painting, portraiture, African American material culture and representation, and the Colonial Revival movement. 

Date: October 7, 2020 

Time: 4 p.m. MDT

Link To Join Event:

​Meeting ID: 949 9359 7696

Passcode: 689896

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Meeting ID: 949 9359 7696

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About the Museum of International Folk Art
The Museum of International Folk Art is a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, under the leadership of the Board of Regents for the Museum of New Mexico. Programs and exhibits are generously supported by the International Folk Art Foundation and Museum of New Mexico Foundation.

The mission of The Museum of International Folk Art is to shape a humane world by connecting people through creative expression and artistic traditions. The museum holds the largest collection of international folk art in the world, numbering more than 130,000 objects from more than 100 countries.


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