Shaping Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South

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Format: Paperback
Pub. Date: 2000-09-01
Publisher(s): Univ of Georgia Pr
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A complete catalog of the Atlanta History Center's permanent folk art exhibition, this richly illustrated volume defines and documents the folk arts of the lower southeastern United States. The objects, crafting processes, and performances represented here illustrate the unique qualities of the community-learned traditional arts of the South. John A. Burrison examines a multitude of traditional art forms, many of which still thrive today. Intricately constructed miniatures of covered wagons, sorghum-syrup mills, and pottery workshops speak of a life of subsistence farming. Decorated baskets represent the cultural exchanges of Native Americans, European Americans, and African Americans. Intricate wrought-iron gates, musical instruments, quilts, and such curiosities as face jugs combine beauty and utility--the dual nature of most folk art--with southern flair.An illuminating introduction by Burrison, the curator of the exhibit and an expert folk art collector, presents highlights of his thirty years of research and collecting experience, offering a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the exhibition. A concluding section looks at the adaptations and innovations shaping the future of southern folk arts.

Author Biography

John A. Burrison is a professor of English and director of the folklore curriculum at Georgia State University. His other books include Storytellers: Folktales and Legends from the South and Shaping Traditions: Folk Art in a Changing South (both Georgia).

Table of Contents

Credits and Acknowledgments vii
Introduction 1(28)
What's Folk about Folk Arts?
Folk Arts Are Learned Traditionally
Folk Arts Are Community-Shared
Folk Artists Bring the Past into the Present
Folk Arts Are Flexible
Folk Objects Can Be Both Useful and Beautiful
Folk Objects Are Handmade---in an Inherited Tradition
What's Southern about Southern Folk Arts?
Living off the Land: A Southern Way of Life
Southern Specialties
Southern Blendings
A Handmade Life: Folk Arts at Home
Made of Mud: Pottery
With the Grain: Woodwork
Warp and Weft: Textiles
Anvil Sparks: Metalwork
Feeding the Soul: Beyond Subsistence
Leisure-Time Stories, Songs, and Music
Feel the Spirit: Religious Expression
Revitalization and Change: Folk Arts in the Modern South
The Reshaping of Older Native Crafts
The New Southerners: Recent Traditions
We Are All Folk Artists
Catalog 107(44)
Suggested Readings 151(2)
Index of Folk Artists 153

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