By Colleen Cowles Heslip
With an introduction by Mary Black
The half-century in which folk art flourished in the area from the Connecticut River west to the Hudson was the period of greatest success for itinerant self-taught painters throughout the nation. Artists—mostly men, but with a few women among them—followed after the first pioneers who had earlier picked up their families and goods from seacoast and river valley settlements and moved to the hill towns of New England and New York. From the eve of the Revolution to the mid-1840s, when the development and general use of the camera usurped their vocation, itinerant painters provided a valuable service for relatives and acquaintances eager for the uneven skills they offered as record keepers of the prevailing society. Published in association with an exhibition that opened at the Clark Art Institute in 1990, this book explores the artisan painters who plied their trade in this hilly region, considering their activity, their patrons, their techniques, and the eventual decline of their art.
96 pages, 9 x 11 inches
31 color and 27 black-and-white illustrations
ISBN 0-931102-28-6 (softcover)