2019 NH Folk Art Lecture Series

Portsmouth Historical Society announces the 2019 Lecture Series for our 2019 exhibitions:

New Hampshire Folk Art: By the People, For the People, and
League of NH Craftsmen Contemporary Folk Art.

The lectures are held at Discover Portsmouth, 10 Middle Street, Portsmouth NH on Thursdays at 5:30 pm.

Tickets to lectures are $10 (members) / $20 (non-members)

Thursday, June 20, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

“Folk Art and American Modernism”

Purchase Tickets
Paul D’Ambrosio, President and C.E.O., Fenimore Art Museum and The Farmer’s Art Museum, Inc., Cooperstown, N.Y.
Paul D’Ambrosio, one of the leading scholars of American folk art and a widely published author, will discuss a crucial nexus between folk art and modern artists of the early twentieth century. Many painters and sculptors of the 1930s, such as Charles Sheeler, Elie Nadelman, Marguerite Zorach, and many others, were attracted to the formal abstract qualities and expressive nature of folk art. Their interest stimulated museums and private collectors to become interested in this material, and the enthusiasm for folk art remains string today. In particular, D’Ambrosio will examine the influence of Hamilton Easter Field and the Ogunquit School in the early collecting of American folk art.

Thursday, July 25, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

“It’s A Small World: The Micro-Drawings of Rufus E. Patten of Candia”

Gerald W.R. Ward, Curator, Portsmouth Historical Society.
The New Hampshire Folk Art exhibition includes about a dozen “micro-drawings”—some less than an inch wide—of ships, buildings, landscapes, and other scenes, all done by Rufus E. Patten of Candia, New Hampshire, as a young man in the early nineteenth century. Ward will discuss new research into the life of the little-known Patten, who did not become an artist but enjoyed a career in the military and as a justice of the peace before his death in 1879. He will place his amazing youthful work, now in the noted collection of Craig and Alison Jewett, into the context of folk art, especially as it relates to calligraphy and fine penmanship, and to the concepts of artisanal virtuosity and youthful masterpieces dating back to the medieval period.

Thursday, September 12, 5:30–6:30 p.m.

“The League of NH Craftsmen: A PechaKucha Event”

In a fast-paced and lively presentation, in which each artist only has a few minutes and can only show a limited number of illustrations, several members of the League who are included in the Contemporary NH Folk Art exhibition will discuss various aspects of their work. Although each short segment will be individualistic, topics such as the artist’s training and background, their artistic influences and sources, and aspects of their technique will be discussed, often with references to the examples of their work included in the exhibition. There will be time for a Q and A session afterwards. The event is an unusual opportunity to meet and learn directly from some of the most important artists and craftsmen working in New Hampshire today.

Call (603) 436-8433 for more information.

Previous Lectures:

Thursday, May 16, 5:30-6:30 p.m.

“Trials and Tribulations: Researching Folk Artists Working in 19th-century New Hampshire.”

Deborah M. Child, art historian, lecturer, and independent curator.
In her illustrated lecture, Child, an independent scholar and resident of Seacoast New Hampshire, will present highlights from her research over the past fifteen years to identify the so-called Borden limner once thought to be Portsmouth-born John Samuel Blunt. She will also explore the careers of other artists passing through New Hampshire such as Rufus Porter and “Mr. Willson of NH” who supplemented his income by counterfeiting money. Her talk will allow for a closer look at some artists represented in the exhibition, such as Porter, and help place all the works in a wider context of nineteenth-century New Hampshire. Child is the author of many publications, including the Sketchbooks of John Samuel Blunt (Portsmouth Athenaeum, 2007), and a regular contributor to Antiques and Fine Art. Samples of her publications may be viewed on www.deborahmchild.com.