American Legends: From Calder to O'Keeffe

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This audio guide highlights selected works by artists in American Legends: From Calder to O’Keeffe. Curators, scholars, and artists provide additional commentary.

About this artist: Elie Nadelman

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Narrator: The primary influences on Elie Nadelman were classical sculpture and folk art. He and his wife, Viola Flannery, were avid folk-art collectors, ahead of their time in finding beauty in every day objects. Some of their purchases were commonly collected: textiles, toys, furniture, wrought-iron work, pottery, hooked rugs, and wood carvings. But they also bought whole room interiors; the contents of an apothecary shop—including the leeches; fire-fighting equipment; cockroach traps; American revolutionary posters and broadsides; and household and farm implements. In 1926 they moved the collection into a building designed especially to house it, and made it available to the interested public by appointment. The Museum of Folk and Peasant Arts, as they called it, eventually housed almost fifteen thousand works. 

Narrator: The primary influences on Elie Nadelman were classical sculpture and folk art. He and his wife, Viola Flannery, were avid folk-art collectors, ahead of their time in finding beauty in every day objects. Some of their purchases were commonly collected: textiles, toys, furniture, wrought-iron work, pottery, hooked rugs, and wood carvings. But they also bought whole room interiors; the contents of an apothecary shop—including the leeches; fire-fighting equipment; cockroach traps; American revolutionary posters and broadsides; and household and farm implements. In 1926 they moved the collection into a building designed especially to house it, and made it available to the interested public by appointment. The Museum of Folk and Peasant Arts, as they called it, eventually housed almost fifteen thousand works.