Highlights from the Collection
Founded in 1961, the American Folk Art Museum has a rich tradition of acquiring strong pieces that reflect the country’s cultural history and tell the stories of the lives of Americans. The permanent gallery features four basic themes through the exhibits: symbolism, function, community, and individualism.
The must-see centerpiece of the museum, Flag Gate, was the first object in the museum’s permanent collection. This memorable piece was donated in 1962 by one of the museum’s founders after discovering it amidst the garden furniture at an Americana auction. This 1876 wooden gate resembles the American flag, painted with wavy red and white stripes and adorned with thirty-seven white stars on one side and thirty-eight on the other, with the 38th star representing Colorado which entered the Union that year.
Another highlight of the museum’s permanent collection is the St. Tammany Weathervane, which was one of the first major items purchased by the museum. This striking piece is thought to be the biggest weathervane in the U.S. Other significant works include the 140 wildfowl decoys gifted by Tennis Hall of Fame inductee and art collector Alastair B. Martin in 1969.