Meet the Contributors

Paul Ryan

Curator of of What the Folk Say at Compton Verney in 2011

If fine-art connects my head with the heart, then folk-art joins the guts to both.

In this collection, for example, I feel the fun of the Soldier Whirligig oddly contrasting with the enacted depiction of ‘armed’ conflict; the function of the Coffee Shop Sign abruptly stands for itself; and the force of A Terrible Shipwreck is so direct in its conveyance of nature’s forces.

My deep admiration for such works provokes in me a keen desire for the skills of making, and a longing for playfulness and originality in the objects of everyday life. I search for these qualities in our future as much as in our past, not in a conservative way, but with a look-out for surprising instances of ever-changing human expression and invention.

Soldier Whirligig, British

Artist unkown

early 1900s

Polychrome pine and metal

Height: 62 cm

Coffee Shop Sign (Coffee Pot)

Artist unkown



Height: 46 cm

Meet the contributors...

James Ayres

Author on Folk Art & Former Director of Judkyn Memorial at Freshford Manor, near Bath

Christopher Bibby

Dealer & Collector

Emilie Flower

Film Maker

Kate Arnold Foster

Director, Museum of English Rural Life, University of Reading

Mark Hearld

Artist and Curator

Sally Kalman

Andras Kalman's daughter

Mary Nice

Curator of The Museum of English Naive Art 1988-1998

Alan Powers

Writer, artist and publisher of decorative papers

Paul Ryan

Curator of of What the Folk Say at Compton Verney in 2011

Robert Young

Folk Art Specialist