Sunday, January 18, 2009

Three Cheers For the Red, White, & Blue & the Art of Improvisation...

Improvisation, manifested in the form of cultural objects, has long been a favorite of collectors of the folk art genre. It is the maker's interpretation of a response to his immediate environment that provokes the interest. The object takes on the maker's abilities and surroundings, their feelings, and often times, simply the necessity to create out of need. The flag shown here, made in 1900, was likely created for use as a parade flag - its size and the fact that it is mounted to a stick suggests this (perhaps for a Presidential parade - it was an election year). The beauty of the object here, is the makers interpretation of the American flag - completely hand sewn, the maker has included in its construction 2 blue bars, which obviously isn't correct. We have no way of knowing if the maker simply couldn't recall the correct inclusion of the bars or if it was her/his own desire to create a unique work. The fact that the bars are not evenly spaced adds to its folky, make-do appeal.

Dated 1900 Improvisational Make-do American Flag
Constructed of period flag bunting, stars are embroidered
with wool yarn and twine - entirely hand sewn.

Primitive chain stitch dated 1900


willow said...

Wonderful pieces!

Kim and David said...

Thanks Willow. This is one of my favorite finds. Kim

John Foster said...

Just an awesome find! Thanks for the great description