National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS

Drawing on Americas' Past: Folk Art, Modernism, and the Index of American Design, November 27, 2002 to March 2, 2003

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery. Please follow the links below for related online resources or visit our current exhibitions schedule.

Related Resources

Exhibition Overview

Exhibition Feature

Take a tour of selected renderings from the
Index of American Design

Purchase the
Exhibition Catalogue

Press Materials

Helen E. Gilman, Dapper Dan Store Figure, 1937The Index of American Design was one of the most highly regarded of the 1930s New Deal art projects. Its aim was to compile and eventually publish a visual archive of decorative, folk, and popular arts made in America from the time of settlement to about 1900. Each object was recorded in a breathtakingly meticulous watercolor drawing. This exhibition will commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Gallery's acquisition of the Index of American Design and will explore issues of folk art and national identity. The installation will present approximately 80 of the finest watercolor renderings from the Index along with a selection of approximately 37 of the original artifacts they represent, including quilts, weather vanes, toys, carousel animals, stoneware, and cigar-store figures.