Cover image for Wos up man?: Selections from the Joseph D. and Janet M. Shein Collection of Self-Taught Art By Joyce Henri Robinson

Wos up man?

Selections from the Joseph D. and Janet M. Shein Collection of Self-Taught Art

Joyce Henri Robinson

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$34.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-911209-62-4

100 pages
10" × 10"
85 color illustrations
2005
Distributed by the Penn State Press for Palmer Museum of Art

Wos up man?

Selections from the Joseph D. and Janet M. Shein Collection of Self-Taught Art

Joyce Henri Robinson

Published in conjunction with a 2005 exhibition of the same name at the Palmer Museum of Art, Wos up man? features numerous works from Joseph and Janet Shein’s important collection of self-taught (or “outsider”) art. Although many of the artists represented—William Hawkins, Thornton Dial Sr., Clementine Hunter, Howard Finster, and Sam Doyle—have acquired renown as the interest in outsider art has grown, such figures as George C. Briscoe, Chris Clark, C. W. Conner, and Chris Donnelly are little known and are here receiving their first art-historical consideration.

 

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Published in conjunction with a 2005 exhibition of the same name at the Palmer Museum of Art, Wos up man? features numerous works from Joseph and Janet Shein’s important collection of self-taught (or “outsider”) art. Although many of the artists represented—William Hawkins, Thornton Dial Sr., Clementine Hunter, Howard Finster, and Sam Doyle—have acquired renown as the interest in outsider art has grown, such figures as George C. Briscoe, Chris Clark, C. W. Conner, and Chris Donnelly are little known and are here receiving their first art-historical consideration.

The term “outsider art” refers to works made by individuals who have had no training in the arts and, more often than not, live on the margins of society but are nonetheless creative. Indeed, as Wos up man? shows, they are remarkably expressive and inventive. Their art ranges from walking sticks and quilts to paintings and sculptures and incorporates materials that run the gamut from house paint and earth pigments to glitter and tin. Wos up man? not only provides photographs of more than 75 objects from the Shein collection but also places them in the wider context of subgenres like southern black art, visionary art, prison art, and European art brut. An essay by Joyce Henri Robinson and catalogue entries by Janalee Emmer and Gabriella Szalay enable readers to explore an extensive private collection of outsider art. Wos up man? also calls attention to the growing significance attached to outsider art and, ultimately, asks if “outside” may now be “in.”

Joyce Henri Robinson is Curator at the Palmer Museum of Art and Affiliate Associate Professor in the History of Art Department, The Pennsylvania State University. Her numerous publications include An Endless Panorama of Beauty (2003), also distributed by Penn State Press.

Janalee Emmer is a Graduate Assistant at the Palmer Museum of Art and a PhD candidate at The Pennsylvania State University.

Gabriella Szalay is a Graduate Assistant at the Palmer Museum of Art and received an MA in art history from The Pennsylvania State University in 2004.

CONTENTS

Director’s Preface and Acknowledgments

Jan Keene Muhlert

Foreword

Phyllis Kind

1. Collectors’ Statement

Joe and Janet Shein

2. “Wos up man?” Inflecting the Vernacular

Joyce Henri Robinson

3. Catalogue of the Shein Collection

Joyce Henri Robinson, Janalee Emmer, and Gabriella Szalay

Checklist of the Exhibition

Index of Artists in the Shein Collection

Also of Interest

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