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Wayne State University Press

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Canadian Folk Art to 1950

John A. Fleming & Michael J. Rowan
Photography by James A. Chambers

Award Winner
Published: September 2012
ISBN: 9780888645562
Pages: 592 Size: 9x9
Illustrations: 425

Immerse yourself in more than 400 previously unpublished colour photographs of Canada's disappearing traditional folk art. The authors' discovery of distinctive objects from across Canada inspired them to re-classify folk art, and to analyze and interpret their examples in 17 thematic chapters. The "aesthetic of the everyday" of Canada's material heritage is presented through paintings and carvings, quilts and rugs, tables and trade signs-just to mention a few. These traditional art forms of diverse community groups express a decorative cultural identity, documented through the unique lens of photographer James A. Chambers. Historians, curators, collectors, designers, and dealers, as well as anyone who appreciates material culture, will want to have this collection in their libraries.

John A. Fleming is Professor Emeritus in the Department of French and the Centre for Comparative Literature, and a former Director of the Museum Studies Program, all at the University of Toronto.Michael J. Rowan is a graduate in Fine Arts, and has been an antiques dealer, appraiser, and museum consultant since 1973. He specializes in folk art and ethnic furniture. He lives in Green River near Toronto. James A. Chambers has been a professional photographer and photo-based artist for more than 35 years. A graduate of McMaster University (Fine Arts), he currently lives in Hamilton.

John A. Fleming and Michael J. Rowan take the broad view in their gorgeous new book Canadian Folk Art to 1950, just published by the University of Alberta Press.... To create what must be the largest, most varied catalogue of its kind, Fleming and Rowan scoured public and private collections across the country, sometimes coming across unique examples by accident.... This heavy square book (available in paper or hardcover) isn't the sort of volume you would want to consume in one or two sittings. Better to return to it over and over again, to ponder the stories of another age that are bound up in its hundreds of artifacts.

– Roger Levesque, Edmonton Journal [Full review at: http://www.edmontonjournal.com/entertainment/books/Book+review+Lavish+volume+celebrates+beauty/7803139/story.html]

# 10 on the Edmonton Journal's Bestsellers list for the week on January 25, 2013.

– Edmonton Journal

More than five hundred pages and packed with surprises, this compendium of Canadian folk art will be a revelation to many American collectors and dealers... Many of the objects seem distinctively Canadian and invitingly different from American material, which is what makes the book so refreshing. The stunning photography is by James A. Chambers.

– Antiques Magazine

Canadian Folk Art to 1950 is a 520 page compendium beautifully showcasing museum quality examples of folk art by Canadian artists and craftsmen. Each example is presented in a full color photograph taken by James A. Chambers and is accompanied by a succinct descriptive comment. A superbly presented overview that is informed and informative, this coffee table paperback edition of Canadian Folk Art to 1950 is highly recommended for personal Folk Art Book collections.

– The Midwest Book Review, The Art Shelf

  • 2012 ForeWord Book of the Year Award - Result: Finalist in the category of Art.