folk art


: the traditional decorative or utilitarian art of the people that is often an expression of community life and is distinguished from academic or self-conscious or cosmopolitan expression
Along with exhibits showcasing such folk art as quilts, jewelry and toys, visitors learn about the influence of folk art on contemporary art through tours, programs, symposia and art workshops.Shawn Sell

Examples of folk art in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web After the 1949 revolution, propagandists mass-produced the folk art to depict people living happily under Communist rule. Ann Scott Tyson, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Dec. 2023 This classic quilt uses contemporary methods of fusible applique and machine-blanket-stitching, giving the project a casual folk art style. Sarah Martens, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Aug. 2023 Each decanter is decorated with the same artwork—picks, spades and a two peso coin from Sarabia’s birth year on the front, and drawings of a parrot, rooster, and she-goat goat on the back inspired by the folk art of Sinoloa where Sarabia’s family is from. Jonah Flicker, Robb Report, 19 Dec. 2023 Art-world criticisms aside, the undeniable fact remains that Botero’s rotund figures are here to stay — and will likely remain ingrained in our collective consciousness for generations as well as in museums, galleries, auction houses, and in the folk art of the streets of Medellín. Pablo Helguera, Los Angeles Times, 19 Sep. 2023 Mini Mingei exhibit celebrates folk art A Mini Mingei exhibit celebrating human creativity through folk art, craft and design is from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 1 and March 15 at Mingei International, Building 200, Arts District Liberty Station, 2640 Historic Decatur Road. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 23 Feb. 2024 The American Museum & Gardens, located just outside the center of Bath, might be an unexpected addition to the itinerary, but its collection of American folk art, quilts, textiles, and furniture is extensive — and fascinating to view from a different geographical perspective. Lydia Mansel, Travel + Leisure, 18 Feb. 2024 Household objects, folk art, costumes and archival documents tell the story of the island’s 19th- and 20th-century history—a long tussle for control by the Greeks, Ottomans, French, British, and Italians. Rachel Howard, Condé Nast Traveler, 3 Feb. 2024 The auctions include a diverse array of superlative fine art, furniture, fashion, decorative arts, folk art, historic maps, books, whiskey, manuscripts and more. Variety, NBC News, 12 Jan. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'folk art.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1892, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of folk art was in 1892

Dictionary Entries Near folk art

Cite this Entry

“Folk art.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

folk art

: the traditional art of usually untrained people typically created by an unknown artist

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