Folk Art & Indigenous Art

Folk Art Primitives

Folk art primitives are a category of artwork from the early days of America and is known for simple design and muted color. Some of these items were made because there was no alternative to homemade eating and drinking utensils and furnishings. Some primitives, like handmade quilts and toys, are both beautiful and functional.

What is considered folk art?

The term folk art covers various types of artwork created by people with little or no formal art training. It encapsulates regional art from places all over the world. Categories range from Appalachian pottery originating in the mountains of the Eastern United States to hand-carved masks found on the continent of Africa. Other examples include rag rugs, carved bowls and plates, wooden dolls, and painted medallions for barns.

Folk art primitives are items that are both artistic and functional. Primitive artwork can take the form of paintings, wall hangings, figurines, and ornaments. More often, they are everyday items like bowls, plates, and cups that are handmade. Other useful primitives include shelves and handmade quilts. Primitive toys can also be considered a hybrid of art and function.

Are folk art primitives considered antiques?

An antique is defined as a collectible item of significant age, typically 100 years old or more. Theres a surprising amount of surviving pottery, woodwork and decorative folk art still around from so long ago. However, there are many more vintage and contemporary examples of primitive folk art. Some of them are excellent reproductions that mimic the originals. Some craftsmen will create contemporary pieces using classic methods, as well.

Is primitive art collectible?

There are individuals that collect and even curate large collections of primitive folk art. It appeals to customers from around the globe. In the United States, one form of primitive art offered by resellers is Americana. These arts and crafts provide a glimpse into the history of different regions of the United States.

What kind of international folk art is there?

There are examples of folk art primitives from India, China, Russia, and many other countries around the world. Japanese folk artists have used paper, wood, and stone to create beautiful and detailed landscapes. Swedish folk art often features bright colors and intricate designs. Native American carvings and Alaskan totem poles continue to be among sought-after items on the American continent. Even Egyptian folk art can be found, in the form of cloth dolls, kilim rugs, and clay plates.