A complete catalog of the Atlanta History Center’s permanent folk art exhibition, this richly illustrated volume defines and documents the folk arts of the lower southeastern United States. The objects, crafting processes, and performances represented here illustrate the unique qualities of the community-learned traditional arts of the South. John A. Burrison examines a multitude of traditional art forms, many of which still thrive today. Intricately constructed miniatures of covered wagons, sorghum-syrup mills, and pottery workshops speak of a life of subsistence farming. Decorated baskets represent the cultural exchanges of Native Americans, European Americans, and African Americans. Intricate wrought-iron gates, musical instruments, quilts, and such curiosities as face jugs combine beauty and utility—the dual nature of most folk art—with southern flair.
An illuminating introduction by Burrison, the curator of the exhibit and an expert folk art collector, presents highlights of his thirty years of research and collecting experience, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the exhibition. A concluding section looks at the adaptations and innovations shaping the future of southern folk arts.