Collections - Folk Art


You look straight into the heart of Appalachian culture when you look at its folk art.

Nothing expresses so well the spirit, creativity, and values of a people than its untrained, home-grown, individual artistry. How can you hope to understand the men and women who peopled this region without these articulate glimpses into their characters and their affections? Here you see what amused them, what moved them to tears, what they viewed as satisfying or transcendent, curious or essential. Here tradition informs their work, but creativity gives it form.

The Museum of Appalachia's Hall of Fame and Display Barn house one of the nation's finest collections of Appalachian folk art, from Cabin Creek Charlie's polka-dot house to a pair of lovely hand-painted murals of the Tree of Life. A painting on a tee shirt. A giant, frightening devil's head formed from a grotesquely twisted tree root. An intricate carving of a treed 'coon with coonhounds trapping it out on a branch. At the Museum, you do more than just amaze at the diversity of artistic expression: you begin to understand the creative heart of our Appalachian ancestors.