Americana Insights, a new nonprofit e-journal and multi-faceted resource center, has been launched by Jane Katcher, Americana and American folk art collector, in collaboration with David A. Schorsch, an authority on American antiques and folk art.
The digital publication is supported by an advisory board of museum and art-world professionals and edited by independent scholar, author, and curator Robert Shaw.
Through illustrated content in both short-form and essays, Americana Insights aims to inspire, extend, and enhance appreciation and knowledge of traditional American folk art and Americana from the Colonial era to the early 20th century.
It is designed to engage new and longtime collectors, students, scholars, curators, writers, art and American history enthusiasts, and the general public, among other audiences.
Free access is provided commercial-free to make new research and related information widely available. The site also offers information about exhibitions, symposia, and special events across the country presenting and interpreting this material.
Further, a widget feature provides enhanced accessibility in compliance with ADA guidelines for websites. All the essays are presented in both scrolling and book view formats, and printable pdfs of the scrolling pages will soon be added to the site.
For the launch, the journal features:
- Cynthia Fowler’s profile “Hooked Rugs at Henry Francis DuPont’s Chestertown House”
- Mark D. Mitchell’s examination “The Beardsleys and the Beardsley Limner: Beyond Likeness”
- Deborah M. Child’s investigation “Tributes in Paper from the City of Brotherly Love”
- Laura Fecych Sprague’s exploration “Rufus Porter, Art, and Enterprise in Portland, Maine,” and
- Richard Miller’s study “Fancy Dressing Tables from Sullivan County, New Hampshire.”
The site also features “Briefs,” a section of shorter profiles and links to online resources for further investigation of a variety of subjects. Samples currently include Signature Styles: Friendship, Album, and Fundraising Quilts by American Folk Art Museum curator Emelie Gevalt and Rufus Porter in Context by Bowdoin College Museum of Art consulting curator Laura Fecych Sprague illuminating the life of the multi-faceted 19th-century artist and inventor. Briefs will continue to offer short papers that focus specifically on a single thesis, artist, or object accompanied by images.
There is an open call for submissions seeking new, original research on an object, a group of objects, or a single creator or related group of artists or craftspeople. An e-newsletter is in development, and print-on-demand compendiums of essays are planned.
Americana Insights’ advisory board includes: The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum at Colonial Williamsburg, Fenimore Art Museum, Historic Deerfield, Historic Trappe, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon, Chipstone Foundation, Winterthur Museum, and Yale University Art Gallery.
The website also offers links to 175 museums, heritage centers, historical societies, libraries, and historic sites with collections of American folk art, decorative arts, Americana, and/or related archival material.
For further information contact Bob Shaw in Shelburne, Vermont, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org; or calling (802) 985-8841.