Southern folk art ranging from clay to iron
Only recently have scholars from a variety of disciplines discovered the importance of Southern folk art as a field of study. In the past five years there have been a number of ground breaking studies authored by historians, anthropologists, sociologists, and art historians, among others, on the material culture of the region. In addition, museums throughout the country have begun to organize exhibitions on Southern folk art. The public's exposure to this wealth of material has generated popular interest about a region whose artistic achievements have long been ignored in favor of folk art produced in Pennsylvania and the New England states.
Carolina Folk, unlike many recent studies of folk art, does not focus on a particular medium or method of work, such as basketmaking or woodcarving. In addition, it does not attempt to serve as a compendium of folk art produced throughout the entire South or champion contemporary works by self-taught visionary artists. Instead, this project focuses only on the traditional folk arts produced in the two-state region of the Carolinas. This approach was selected because the culture of the Carolinas has had an enormous impact on the development of a number of folk art traditions found througout the Southeast.