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Making It ModernThe Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman

Published by GILES in association with the New-York Historical Society

Add to Cart US$65.00

Published — (UK and USA)

Dimensions — 376 pages, 280 x 229 mm (9 x 11 in)

Illustrations — 250 colour and 50 b&w illustrations

Format — Hardback

Price — UKĀ£40.00/US$65.00

ISBN — 978-1-907804-29-8

Press Release — Forthcoming book breaks new ground on the story...

News  —  Making It Modern wins the Frick Center for the...

            —  A folk art collection both strange and familiar

            —  Making it Modern is on the shortlist for the Alice

            —  Making it Modern moves to Andover, MA

            —  The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola...

            —  Making it Modern has opened in Albuquerque

Sales Points

  • "Shaping the Artist"—Lance Esplund, The Wall Street Journal
  • "Exceptional"—Roberta Smith, The New York Times
  • "Something for everyone"—Andy Battaglia, The Wall Street Journal
  • "Should delight"—The New York Times Gift Guide
  • "Reveals the complexity of the groundbreaking collection"—Maine Antique Digest's Holiday Gift Guide
  • "Provides an inviting overview of the collection's sophistication and breadth"—Barrymore Laurence Scherer, The Magazine Antiques
  • Published to accompany the exhibition Making It Modern: The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman, held at the Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Albuquerque, NM, September 6– November 29, 2015; the New-York Historical Society, May 20-August 21, 2016; and the Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, MA, September 17–December 31, 2016.

About the Book

This lavishly illustrated volume is the first comprehensive study of the folk art collection purchased by the New-York Historical Society from Elie and Viola Nadelman in 1937. Exhibited by the couple from 1926 to 1937 in their pioneering Museum of Folk and Peasant Arts in Riverdale, New York, the nearly 15,000 works come from a collection spanning six centuries, thirteen countries, and a broad range of media. Authors Margaret K. Hofer and Roberta J.M. Olson explore a nucleus of some 216 highlights in 87 catalogue entries, as well as nine of Nadelman's own sculptures, and consider the possible interchanges between the Nadelman's collecting and his avant-garde art. Their research, employing new archival evidence from the Historical Society and the rich cache of Nadelman Papers, has resulted in exciting discoveries, among them Nadelman's active role in restoring some of his folk art objects.

Featuring seven provocative essays by the authors and other leading scholars, Making It Modern breaks new ground not only on the Nadelmans and folk art, but also in the history of American art and taste during the fast-paced cultural revolutions of the early 20th century. It will appeal to collectors, curators, commercial galleries, auction houses, and scholars of material culture, history, museology, folk art studies, 20th-century art, and Americana.

About the Author(s)

Margaret K. Hofer is curator of Decorative Arts at the New-York Historical Society. She is the author of Stories in Sterling: Four Centuries of Silver in New York (2011), A New Light on Tiffany: Clara Driscoll and the Tiffany Girls (with Martin Eidelberg and Nina Gray, 2007; German and Dutch editions, 2009), The Games We Played: The Golden Age of Board and Table Games (2003), and Seat of Empire (with Roberta J.M. Olson, 2002).

Roberta J.M. Olson is curator of drawings at the New- York Historical Society and Professor Emerita of Art History at Wheaton College, Massachusetts. She is the author of numerous publications, including most recently Audubon’s Aviary: The Original Watercolors for “The Birds of America” (2012), Drawn by New York: Six Centuries of Watercolors and Drawings at the New-York Historical Society (2008), The Biography of the Object in Italian Medieval and Renaissance Art (2006), and The Florentine Tondo (2000). 

Elizabeth Stillinger is an independent scholar.

Kenneth L. Ames is professor at the Bard Graduate Center, New York City.

Cynthia Nadelman is an independent scholar and writer. 

Barbara Haskell is the curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art.