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In the U.S., vernacular art – which can also be called folk art or outsider art – is dominated by the works of African American, Appalachian and working-class people. In many cases these artists took up making paintings, sculptures, quilts or textiles outside of a day job or later in life.

Awareness and recognition of this genre has grown over the past few decades, with the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, D.C.; the American Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore; Atlanta’s High Museum; and the Milwaukee Art Museum building significant collections.

Beauvais Lyons, Chancellor’s Professor of Art, explains the history of vernacular art and its importance in the art world today.

Read Lyons’ full article on The Conversation.

UT is a member of The Conversation, an independent source for news articles and informed analysis written by the academic community and edited by journalists for the general public. Through our partnership, we seek to provide a better understanding of the important work of our faculty.



Cindi King (865-974-0937,