July 2 through September 19, 2016
America has always been a nation of makers.
The things we make tell the story of who we are. American Made: Treasures from the American Folk Art Museum features 115+ objects—including quilts, carvings, signs, samplers, weathervanes, whirligigs and more—hand made by Americans when our nation was young.
American Made in the News
Editorial: Rooms with Views
On the heels of the American Revolution, everyday citizens filled their homes with objects and artworks—made by their own hands—that revealed the hope and enthusiasm they felt for our new nation. These self-made artists created practical objects that reflected their daily lives. They embellished furniture and household items with images of the countryside, made decorative objects reflecting American patriotism and politics, and stitched quilts and samplers that demonstrated their skill and creativity. Traveling painters moved from town to town making portraits of local community leaders. Together, these artisans crafted a visual story of America’s development.
Additional treasures complement the exhibition:
- In-Gallery Activity Space – invites visitors to create their own magnetic quilt squares, contribute to a community loom, and design stencil boxes to take home.
- Local Artist Demonstration Space – weavers, quilters, metalsmiths, woodworkers, broom makers, and many more will demonstrate their crafts throughout the exhibition.
- Take-Home Reading List – suggests works of early American literature published during the era of the exhibition. Rare editions of many of these books are on display in the museum library including Moby Dick, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Created especially for Crystal Bridges from the American Folk Art Museum in New York, American Made shares the story these artworks tell about America: our history, our culture, our identity.
Only at Crystal Bridges.
Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York. Gift of Dorothea and Leo Rabkin
Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York. Gift of Ralph Esmerian
Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York. Gift of Kathryn Trotta Kane
and family in memory of our beloved grandmother Margaret Halstead Minch
Collection American Folk Art Museum, New York. Gift of Cyril Irwin Nelson in loving memory of Jean Lipman
Take part in great artistic traditions through these mini-workshops inspired by the American Made exhibition. Each evening workshop is led by a local practicing artist and features a new studio medium, such as embroidery, sgraffito, and papercutting. Teaching artists include Sofia Gonzales, Ben Edwards, Laura Redford, Martha Benson, Eugene Sargent, and Emily Chase. Sign up for just one workshop, or for all six! Visit our website for the theme of each class.
American Made Exhibition Audio Tour
Features 20 objects, centering on the stories behind the works.
Download the app for free to your own Android or Apple Device and let our audio tour guide you through the galleries. Several tours are available, including four tour options for the permanent galleries, an architecture tour, and tours of current temporary exhibitions. Each of the stops on the tours includes a high-resolution image, full label copy, and audio or video clips featuring curators, preparators, or conservators. The Crystal Bridges app is sponsored by Cox Communication.
Use this fun guide to find the beauty in the details. Each image features a close-up detail of a specific artwork. Look closely for these works as you move through the exhibition, and marvel at the self-taught mastery of the artists who made them!