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Canadian Folk Art to 1950
John A. Fleming, Michael J. Rowan
Photographer James A. Chambers
Immerse yourself in more than 425 previously unpublished colour photographs of Canada’s disappearing traditional folk art. The authors’ discovery of distinctive objects from across Canada inspired them to re-classify folk art, and to analyze and interpret their examples in 17 thematic chapters. The “aesthetic of the everyday” of Canada’s material heritage is presented through paintings and carvings, quilts and rugs, tables and trade signs—just to mention a few. These traditional art forms of diverse community groups express a decorative cultural identity, documented through the unique lens of photographer James A. Chambers. Historians, curators, collectors, designers, and dealers, as well as anyone who appreciates material culture, will want to have this collection in their libraries.  Out-of-Print
Copublished with Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Format:  Printed Dust Jacket
ISBN:  978-0-88864-630-9
Price:  CND$ 75, USD$ 75, £ 62.5
Discount:  Trade
Subject:  Art/Canadian Folk Art
Publication Date:  October 2012
Reviews
Fleming (museum studies program, U. of Toronto, Canada) and Rowan (antique dealer/appraiser) present this thick gallery of Canadian traditional folk art. In their preface, they discuss the conceptualization of the categories of art, folk art, and traditional folk art, and describe their own mission and criteria for inclusion in the volume. As pieces are presented, commentary continues to build on a definition of folk art and then explores the role of different subject matter and materials in culture. The book concludes with thoughts on the difficulties of defining an object as folk art in the digital age. 2013 Book News Inc. 
Fleming (museum studies program, U. of Toronto, Canada) and Rowan (antique dealer/appraiser) present this thick gallery of Canadian traditional folk art. In their preface, they discuss the conceptualization of the categories of art, folk art, and traditional folk art, and describe their own mission and criteria for inclusion in the volume. As pieces are presented, commentary continues to build on a definition of folk art and then explores the role of different subject matter and materials in culture. The book concludes with thoughts on the difficulties of defining an object as folk art in the digital age. 2013 Book News Inc. 
"One is drawn into the pages of Canadian Folk Art to 1950 by its delightful cover…. Authors John Fleming and Michael Rowan, along with photographer James A. Chambers, have produced an informative and beautifully illustrated book. The seventeen chapters are nicely divided into categories such as domestic life, country life, gardens, and myth and symbol. Both decorative and utilitarian items are include among the over 425 featured artifacts.... Canadian Folk Art to 1950 will make a great gift and would be a pleasing addition to any Canadian’s personal library.”
Phil Koch, Canada's History Magazine, October-November 2013
Beautiful close up photography, with shadows and wonderful image reproductions…. Excellent binding, beautifully created with gorgeous endsheets. Judge’s Comments, PubWest Book Design Awards, August, 2013
"To make such a large, complex text both approachable and beautiful is an admirable accomplishment. The various design elements present a unified, consistent look, with a craft-like motif that complements the subject. The designer marshalled all the details, right down to the headbands, to create this very impressive book.”
The Alcuin Society, Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada, 2012
"Clearly written, this book affords an engaging starting point for discussions of folk art in Canada and beyond. Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.”
B.L. Herman, Choice Magazine, July 2013
“Canadian Folk Art to 1950 is a 520 page compendium beautifully showcasing museum quality examples of folk art by Canadian artists and craftsmen. Each example is presented in a full color photograph taken by James A. Chambers and is accompanied by a succinct descriptive comment. A superbly presented overview that is informed and informative, this coffee table paperback edition of Canadian Folk Art to 1950 is highly recommended for personal Folk Art Book collections.”
The Midwest Book Review, The Art Shelf
"[Canadian Folk Art] has more than 425 artifacts with captioned photos from the nineteenth century through the 1950s. The authors emphasize material culture, reference fine art versus craft, and let in the fresh air of association and identity. With unique thematic arrangement they encourage personal response to the aesthetic of objects as one might to fine art. The rich images of objects are split up by theme, but not genre, and create 'visual poetry' inviting personal connections. The authors’ goal is to examine attraction to and collection of traditional arts and to wonder about their 'necessary and enduring value.' They succeed.... Some of the curious objects...make this a visual antiques market extravaganza. It showcases beauty, cleverness, and skill of fine specimens that could so easily be lost to posterity had it not been for this excellent compilation.”
Marianne L. Sade, Art Libraries Society of North America, May 2013
"As you approach Canadian Folk Art to 1950, the cover shows a painted detail of a hunter and his dog from a circa-1850 Quebec gameboard. Enticed, you lift the book, fully appreciating its 560-page heft, and then you fan through it, sending off the scent of freshly-printed ink and the near-cinematic frame-flashing of hundreds of vivid examples of Canadian folk art.... the authors and photography have successfully married the structural and visual aspects of Canadian traditional folk art into a coherent whole. Structure and theme and mood are simply a foundation that allows the reader to connect with the illustrated works, to stop and ponder the sublime beauty of folk art...”
Larry Thompson, The Upper Canadian Antique Showcase, March-April 2013
"Humor, whimsy, beauty, and imagination abound in the book's pages... The photographs by James A. Chambers beautifully capture color and details. This immense project, six years in the making, was supported by numerous collectors, dealers, auctioneers, curators, historians, and museum staff... Folk art enthusiasts will no doubt respond to this book with the 'enthusiasm and pleasure' that the authors mention in the preface.”
Maine Antique Digest, March 2013
# 10 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list for the week on January 25, 2013.
"More than five hundred pages and packed with surprises, this compendium of Canadian folk art will be a revelation to many American collectors and dealers... Many of the objects seem distinctively Canadian and invitingly different from American material, which is what makes the book so refreshing. The stunning photography is by James A. Chambers.”
Antiques Magazine, January/February 2013
"John A. Fleming and Michael J. Rowan take the broad view in their gorgeous new book Canadian Folk Art to 1950, just published by the University of Alberta Press.... To create what must be the largest, most varied catalogue of its kind, Fleming and Rowan scoured public and private collections across the country, sometimes coming across unique examples by accident.... This heavy square book (available in paper or hardcover) isn’t the sort of volume you would want to consume in one or two sittings. Better to return to it over and over again, to ponder the stories of another age that are bound up in its hundreds of artifacts.”
Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal, January 10, 2013 [Full review at: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/books/Book+review+Lavish+volume+celebrates+beauty/7803139/story.html]

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