Drawing on America's Past: Folk Art, Modernism, and the Index of American Design

November 27, 2002 – March 2, 2003

West Building, Ground Floor, Central Gallery

THIS EXHIBITION IS NO LONGER ON VIEW AT THE NATIONAL GALLERY.

Overview: This exhibition, which explored the techniques and artistic accomplishments of the Index of American Design project of the federal Works Progress Administration featured 79 watercolor renderings representing quilts, toys, carousel animals, tavern signs, cigar-store figures, and other objects. 37 additional objects borrowed from public and private collections were shown with the related watercolors. The exhibition celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Gallery's acquisition of the Index of American Design.

A selection of films about American life made between 1935 and 1942 was shown intermittently in the East Building Large Auditorium.

Organization: The exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington. The curator was Virginia Tuttle Clayton, associate curator of old master prints.

Sponsor: The exhibition and catalogue were made possible by the Henry Luce Foundation.

Attendance: 117,294

Catalog: Drawing on America's Past: Folk Art, Modernism, and the Index of American Design by Virginia Tuttle Clayton, Elizabeth Stillinger, Erika Doss, and Deborah Chotner. Washington, DC: National Gallery of Art, 2002.

Brochure: Drawing on America's Past: Folk Art, Modernism, and the Index of American Design by Virginia Tuttle Clayton.

Image: Donald Donovan, Carousel Goat, c. 1938, watercolor, graphite, and pen and ink on paper, Index of American Design, 1943.8.16832