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 fifteen thousand 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 two hundred and sixteen highlights in eighty-seven catalog 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, 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 twentieth century.
Margaret K. Hofer is curator of decorative arts, New York Historical Society
Roberta J.M. Olson is curator of drawings, New York Historical Society
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.
Preface by Brian T. Allen
Acknowledgments by Margaret K. Hofer and Roberta J.M. Olson
Notes to the Reader
The History of the Nadelman Folk Art Collection by Roberta J.M. Olson and Margaret K. Hofer
The Nadelmans in Context: The Early Collectors of Folk Art in America by Elizabeth Stillinger
Manhattan to Munich: The Nadelmans’ Sources for Folk Art by Margaret K. Hofer
The Term “Folk Art” Once Again by Kenneth L. Ames
Classical Echoes in the Nadelmans’ Folk Art Collection by Roberta J.M. Olson
Viola Nadelman as a Collector by Cynthia Nadelman
Nadelman and Folk Art: The Question of Influence by Barbara Haskell
Catalogue Folk Art Entries
Catalogue Elie Nadelman Sculpture Entries
Appendix I: Checklist of Dealers and Auction Houses Patronized by the Nadelmans, 1923–36
Appendix II: Museum of Folk Arts Guide, 1935
Frequently Cited Sources
"Exceptional"Roberta Smith, The New York Times
"Should delight"The New York Times Gift Guide
"Provides an inviting overview of the collection's sophistication and breadth"Barrymore Laurence Scherer, The Magazine Antiques
"Reveals the complexity of the groundbreaking collection"Maine Antique Digest's Holiday Gift Guide
"Exceptional"—Roberta Smith, The New York Times
"Should delight"—The New York Times Gift Guide
"Provides an inviting overview of the collection's sophistication and breadth"—Barrymore Laurence Scherer, The Magazine Antiques
"Reveals the complexity of the groundbreaking collection"—Maine Antique Digest's Holiday Gift Guide