Oddities and Propensities: Folk Art in Museums

Jackson Medel (Western Kentucky University)

This paper briefly overviews the folk art digitization project at the Kentucky Museum as a case study to discuss folkloristics and museum studies as natural, complementary partners. Folklorists and museum professionals ask many of the same questions and, from a disciplinary perspective, are both interested in the process as well as the product, tracing out the inspirations, motivations, teachers, and traditions that frame any particular piece. Folklorists in museums are well-positioned to highlight cultural productions that elide notice, unpack the odd things that museums collect, tease out the stories of these items as expressions of communities, groups, families, and individuals.

Part of 02-11 Reconsidering Folk and Self-Taught Art, Thursday, October 13, 10:30 am–12:30 pm