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Folk Art

FOLK ART STYLE

Folk art is a genre of art that shares the creator’s traditions, offering not just an artistic display but an opportunity to learn about a culture. Antique, new and vintage folk art typically reflects a heritage or location. It can include utilitarian objects and handmade art as diverse as weather vanes, duck decoys, portraiture and paintings, carnival art and quilts.

Quilts are a quintessential part of American folk art but their roots are international, with quilting dating back to Ancient Egypt. The practice spread to Europe and was especially prominent in the Middle Ages, with one of the oldest surviving examples being the Tristan quilt made in Sicily in the 14th century. They were made as bedcovers and clothing, including as a layer for knights to wear beneath their armor. Native American folk art includes functional objects reflecting their heritage, such as baskets, textiles and wooden pieces.

Elsewhere, the vast range of work associated with Mexican folk art includes masks made by Mexican craftspeople for traditional celebrations and ceremonial dances. Mexican masks are part of the country’s folk-art traditions that go back thousands of years and play a role in festivals and theater.

Works in the folk art tradition are valuable because of the skills involved, like weaving, hand-carving wood and even stonework. Many folk artists are self-taught, while some train as apprentices within their community. By using available materials and taking a personal approach to their creations, artists ensure each piece is unique and conveys a story.

During the Great Depression, artistic materials in America were hard to come by, so artisans used discarded wood from cigar boxes and shipping crates to make highly stylized, notched pieces — most often picture frames and boxes — that are today sought after by collectors. This folk art style is called tramp art and was popular from roughly 1870 until the 1940s.

Folk art brings vibrant culture and traditions into your home. Browse an extensive collection of antique, new and vintage folk art on 1stDibs.

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Style: Folk Art
The Eyes Say It All, Assamblage with Found Objects
By Rick Farrell
Located in Chicago, IL
A found object is a natural or man-made item, or fragment of an item that is found by an artist and kept because of some intinsic interest the artist sees in it. Beginning with Picas...
Category

2010s North American Folk Art

Materials

Metal, Wire

Large Early 20th Century Scandinavian Hand Painted Decoy Duck
Located in Debenham, Suffolk
Large early 20th century Scandinavian hand painted decoy duck, circa 1920. Slightly larger than the normal, this is a Fine example of Scandinavian hand painted Folk Art. Hand ...
Category

Early 20th Century Swedish Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Pair of Vera Alabaster 'Russian' Original Folk Art Oil Paintings on Canvas
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
This pair of oil paintings on canvas are done by the well known portrait and landscape Russian artist, Vera Alabaster in circa 1940 in a Folk Art style. The paintings depict a Jamaic...
Category

Early 20th Century Russian Folk Art

Materials

Canvas

Brown Charcoal Lion Pictorial Turkish 20th Century Wool Rug
Located in New York, NY
A mid 20th century Turkish rug depicting 2 brown lions on a black/charcoal colored ground. Measures: 1'10" x 3'4'.
Category

Mid-20th Century Turkish Folk Art

Materials

Wool

Antique Folk Art Carved Native American Chief Head Advertising Sign
Located in Buenos Aires, Olivos
Antique Folk Art Carved Native American Chief Head Advertising Sign. Folk Art Indian Tobacco / Trade Sign. American, ca 1900´s, painted carved wood with metal hook. A folk art tobac...
Category

Early 20th Century American Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Jim Rose Barn House Structure, Welded Steel Sculpture Made with Salvaged Steel
Located in Chicago, IL
This is a welded steel sculpture made by furniture creator Jim Rose. It is sustainable design created from salvaged and recycled steel panels left over from his larger projects. Thes...
Category

2010s American Folk Art

Materials

Steel

Jim Rose Barn House Structure, Welded Steel Sculpture Made with Salvaged Steel
Located in Chicago, IL
This is a welded steel sculpture made by furniture creator Jim Rose. It is sustainable design created from salvaged and recycled steel panels left over from his larger projects. Thes...
Category

2010s American Folk Art

Materials

Steel

Jim Rose Barn House Structure, Welded Steel Object Made with Salvaged Steel
Located in Chicago, IL
This is a welded steel sculpture made by furniture creator Jim Rose. It is sustainable design created from salvaged and recycled steel panels left over from his larger projects. Thes...
Category

2010s American Folk Art

Materials

Steel

Cast Iron Double Sided Watchmaker Jeweler Trade Sign Mirror
Located in Rio Vista, CA
Early 20th century gilded cast iron trade sign repurposed into a beveled mirror. Originally the double sided sign housed a clock. The sign reads watches, clocks, and jewelry around t...
Category

20th Century American Folk Art

Materials

Iron

Hand-Carved Wood Folk Art Organic Ball Sphere
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Unique hand-carved folk art-style wood gazing ball. A friend of bookshelves and coffee tables. A lovely garden accent. An organic doorstop. A compliment to any room-- great suppo...
Category

20th Century Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Folk Art Painted and Carved Bird Sculpture, Early 20th C
Located in Philadelphia, PA
An early twentieth century whimsical folk art bird tree having six carved and painted wood birds each in different poses and mounted on wire legs to leaf covered branches. Mounted to...
Category

Early 20th Century North American Folk Art

Materials

Iron

Modernist Inspired Fable Painting by Armenian Artist A. Mouradian
Located in Peabody, MA
A modernist inspired fable painting by A. Mouradian. This piece, an oil on canvas board, is unsigned. We recently acquired a small grouping of Armenian figurative paintings by this u...
Category

1990s Armenian Folk Art

Materials

Paint

Fantastic Early Geometric Hand-Hooked Mounted Rug, Pennsylvania
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Wonderful salmons and multicolored shades in this geometric hand-hooked rug from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania .This wonderful multiple saw-tooth borders rug with an outlined border...
Category

Early 20th Century American Folk Art

Materials

Wool

Early 20th Century Folky Pictorial Table Runner
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This folky pictorial handmade wool boot and shoe applique runner has the original blue ticking backing. This wonderful Folk Art textile has a velcro backing trim for hanging on a wal...
Category

Early 20th Century American Folk Art

Materials

Wool

Large Folk Art Wood Pocket Knife Store Display
Located in Stamford, CT
Large Folk Art pocket knife store display made of mixed wood, circa 1950s. The piece closes and opens as well. Please note of wear consistent with age including minor wood loss and c...
Category

1950s Vintage Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Grenfell Hooked Rug, circa 1910
Located in Nantucket, MA
Vintage Grenfell Hooked Mat of a Schooner from Newfoundland or Labrador, early 20th century, a hand hooked round mat depicting a schooner sailing on blue sea, with islets or small ic...
Category

1910s Canadian Vintage Folk Art

Materials

Wool

Mid-20th Century Clay Pot Found in Guerrero, Southern Mexico De Guerrero
Located in Guadalajra, Jal
The pichancha or Tlalchiquihuite is a clay pot with small holes, which is used to wash the nixtamal. This utensil allows you to strain the nejayote (the lime water in which the corn ...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mexican Folk Art

Materials

Clay

Wind-Up Toy "KnockoutChamps" with Original Box, circa 1930
Located in Incline Village, NV
"Knockout Champs" was manufactured by Louis Marx & Co. in New York, circa 1930. The toy is made of lithographed tin, the boxers are hand-painted celluloid, and the rope around the ri...
Category

20th Century American Folk Art

Materials

Tin

Late Naive English School "Bull Broke Loose" Bull Baiting Oil on Canvas
Located in Lowestoft, GB
A late 18th century oil on canvas depicting a bull baiting scene In England during the time of Queen Anne, bull-baiting was practised in London at Hockley-in-the-Hole, twice a we...
Category

Late 18th Century English Antique Folk Art

Materials

Canvas, Maple

20th C Hand Carved & Painted Canadian Goose
Located in Los Angeles, CA
20th hand carved & amazing original painted Canadian goose. This goose is late but very great carving and surface. The condition is good.
Category

1940s American Vintage Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Andhra Pradesh Brass Vegetable Cheese Coconut Grater in the Shape of a Turtle
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Andhra Pradesh solid brass cheese or vegetable grater in the shape of a turtle. Andhra Pradesh, in particular, has a history of outstanding metal workmanship or “Vishwakarmas”, which...
Category

20th Century Indian Folk Art

Materials

Brass, Copper

Antique Cast Iron Umbrella Back Plate of Admiral Nelson
Located in Bridgeport, CT
Antique painted iron plaque depicting a standing Admiral Nelson clutching a telescope in his only hand while standing next to an anchor wrapped in rope to one side and an anchor to t...
Category

19th Century Antique Folk Art

Materials

Iron

Hand Carved and Painted Large Vintage French Wood Duck Decoy, Mid-20th Century
Located in Studio City, CA
A fantastic early to mid-20th century handmade duck decoy. Beautiful, rich patina that comes with age. Well carved and has what appears to be glass eyes. From an extensive collec...
Category

Mid-20th Century French Folk Art

Materials

Glass, Wood

19th Century Folkart Erzgebirge German Noah’s Ark
Located in London, GB
Erzgebirge German Noah’s Ark 82 A wonderful example of a 19th century Erzgebirge German Noah’s Ark, With 82 assorted hand carved figures. A completely untouched example with aged ...
Category

1890s German Antique Folk Art

Materials

Pine

Early 19th Century Swedish Folk Art Travel Box / Chest with Original Paint
Located in Boden, SE
Early 19th Century Swedish Folk Art Travel box from Skelleftea Vasterbotten ,Northern Sweden. Beautiful untouched original paint. Decorated with handwrought iron around the box and o...
Category

Early 19th Century Swedish Antique Folk Art

Materials

Pine

Turn of the Century Folk Art Whaling Scene Hooked Rug
Located in Nantucket, MA
Antique Turn of the Century Folk Art whaling scene hooked rug, late 19th or early 20th century, a hand hooked wool rug with unique depiction of a South Seas whaling scene with large ...
Category

1890s American Antique Folk Art

Materials

Wool

Carved and Gilded Bellamy Eagle Figurehead, circa 1890
Located in Nantucket, MA
Carved and gilded eagle figurehead from the workshop of John Bellamy in Portsmouth, NH, circa 1890, an unfinished work in that it was never mounted on a ship. John Haley Bellamy was ...
Category

Late 19th Century American Antique Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Satirical Hitler Figure from 2nd World War Occupied Denmark
Located in Haddonfield, NJ
This satirical Hitler sculpture was made to depict and mock the Nazi occupation of Denmark during 1940s. According to legend a Danish pig farmer kept this sculpture located in his pi...
Category

Early 20th Century Danish Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Antique Styled Folk Art Carved and Painted Wood Figure Hanging Sheriff Study
Located in Hamilton, Ontario
Dating from possibly the Victorian period, this Folk Art styled carved and hand painted wooden sculpture depicts an effigy of a Wild West Sheriff hanging with his hands behind his ba...
Category

Late 19th Century American Antique Folk Art

Materials

Hardwood, Paint

Early 20th Century Swedish Folk Art Hanger
Located in Boden, SE
Very charming Folk Art hanger in the shape of a dog. It is hand-carved in wood & has a very expressive look. A cool interior detail. Good antique condition with minor historic kno...
Category

Early 20th Century Swedish Folk Art

Materials

Pine

Collection of Worldwide Traveler's Hand Carved Folk Art Masks
Located in Atlanta, GA
Collection of worldwide traveler's hand carved folk art masks, circa 1940s - 1970s, possibly earlier. We purchased the estate of an Atlanta Coca Cola executive, who traveled the worl...
Category

1950s Balinese Vintage Folk Art

Materials

Wood

French Turn of the Century Tramp Art Hand Carved Mirror with Rounded Corners
Located in Atlanta, GA
A French Tramp Art hand-carved mirror from the Turn of the century, with rounded corners and pyramidal raised motifs. Created in France during the early years of the 20th century, th...
Category

Early 20th Century French Folk Art

Materials

Mirror, Wood

Outsider Art Seascape Oil on Panel by Bruno Del Favero
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Oil on panel depicting a coastal view with sailboats by acclaimed outsider artist, Bruno Del Favero (b. Italy 1910, d. USA 1995), circa 1970s. Recognized for his fantastical landsca...
Category

1970s American Vintage Folk Art

Materials

Paint

Antique Elf Sculpture "Digging For Gold"
Located in South Burlington, VT
Digging For Gold- Rare Form Gardener's Best Friend - As American as Apple Pie An American garden friendly elf or gnome- hand cast and hand painted. Imagine this fellow going ab...
Category

Early 20th Century American Folk Art

Materials

Iron

20th Century Native American Painted TOTEM Pole
Located in Chillerton, Isle of Wight
20th century Native American painted TOTEM pole Over 6 feet tall a painted animal TOTEM. Animal totems are believed to have spiritual significance, watching over Pacific Northwe...
Category

Mid-20th Century Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Vintage Good Humor Ice Cream Truck Side Sheet Metal Panels
Located in Santa Monica, CA
So cool! Vintage good humor truck ice cream panels. Great mid century color and pop art design. Nice large scale. Sheet metal attached to new wood frame.
Category

1960s American Vintage Folk Art

Materials

Metal

Coastal Shiny Shell Folk Art Photo Frame
Located in Oklahoma City, OK
A beautiful seashell encrusted photo frame. Accommodates two photos in an oval shape. Dimensions: 6.25" Wide 4.5" Tall 1" Deep.  
Category

20th Century American Folk Art

Materials

Ceramic, Shell

Vintage Magician Magic Suitcase Hand Painted Folk Art
Located in Santa Monica, CA
Fantastic Magician's suitcase. Hand painted and lettered. Vintage Folk Art rabbit trick and card paintings. Great bookshelf display.
Category

1940s American Vintage Folk Art

Materials

Fabric, Canvas

Amazing Antique Tramp Art Mirror from the Turn of the Century
Located in Søborg, DK
Amazing tramp art mirror from the turn of the century. Made from cigar boxes. Great attention to detail for example the mustache top. In lovely original condition. Original mirror pl...
Category

Early 1900s Danish Antique Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Mexican Abrijes Figurine Set Folk Art
By Agustin Cruz Prudencio
Located in Queretaro, Queretaro
A set of colorful Mexican alebrije figurines depicting four animal friends drinking "Corona" beer and having a good time. This humorous Folk Art piece by renowned Mexica woodcarver, ...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary Mexican Folk Art

Materials

Acrylic, Wood

Old Florida Antique Bronze and Copper Palm Tree Sculpture
Located in San Francisco, CA
Incredibly detailed one of a kind Palm Tree sculpture. It is made from bronze and copper. Magnificent patina. It stands 34 inches high. The base is 9 inches wide and the trunk of tre...
Category

Early 20th Century American Folk Art

Materials

Bronze, Copper

Danish Early 19th Century Iron Weather-Vane With Rose Finial, Dated 1821
Located in Haddonfield, NJ
Danish early 19th century iron weather-vane with rose finial, dated 1821.
Category

Early 19th Century Danish Antique Folk Art

Materials

Iron

Silhouette, Young Lady with Hair Comb, Hollow Cut, circa 1830
Located in New York, NY
This exceptional hollow-cut silhouette portrait is very intricately cut with unusual pen and ink details. It represents a young women, in profile, with a high lacey collar and a larg...
Category

Early 19th Century American Antique Folk Art

Materials

Paper

Antique Double Sided Gameboard, Parcheesi and Checkers
Located in Nantucket, MA
Polychrome double sided game board with applied molding. The Parcheesi side is painted with green, red, yellow, blue and purple with leaf and floral decoration. The opposing side ...
Category

Late 19th Century American Antique Folk Art

"Lamb" Cast Iron Still Bank, American, Circa 1970
Located in Incline Village, NV
"Lamb" cast Iron still bank is a re-issue of a bank made in 1928. It was made by The John Wright Company in Mount Joy, Pennsylvania in 1970. They purchased the copyrights from the Gr...
Category

1970s American Vintage Folk Art

Materials

Iron

19th Century Tiller & Clowes Marionette Trick Skeleton Puppets Circus Fairground
Located in Lowestoft, GB
A wonderful piece of English Folk Art. A hand carved Tiller & Clowes trick skeleton marionette circa 1880 in age. The piece would of been used in a large travelling show performed by...
Category

Late 19th Century English Antique Folk Art

Materials

String, Pine

Carved American Carnival Head, circa 1890s
Located in Santa Monica, CA
Finely featured carved man's head found in the southern United States. Most likely a late 19th century carnival head featured in a ball or ring toss game.
Category

19th Century American Antique Folk Art

Materials

Wood

19th Century Swedish Folk Art Wall Cabinet
Located in Helsingborg, SE
Vernacular 19th century Swedish hand painted folk art wall cabinet in it's original finish, dated 1823.
Category

19th Century Swedish Antique Folk Art

Materials

Wood

19th Century Unique Folk Art Guernsey Shell Diorama Display
Located in London, GB
19th century unique Folk Art Guernsey shell diorama display We are proud to offer a unique folk-art hand-crafted example of a seashell diorama. Displayed in a hand carved wooden fr...
Category

1880s British Antique Folk Art

Materials

Natural Fiber

Vintage Petite Bent-Willow Chair
Located in Houston, TX
Vintage petite bent-willow chair, circa 1910s-1930s. Small Folk Art chair made from bent willow featuring original red velvet upholstered seat (seat can be reupholstered for a nomina...
Category

1920s American Vintage Folk Art

Materials

Bentwood

Monumental and Unusual Folk Art Stage Coach Figure and Horses, 1927
Located in Buffalo, NY
Monumental and unusual Folk Art stage coach figure and horses, 1927. All hand executed, amazing detail, working lamps, velvet interior on coach.
Category

1920s American Vintage Folk Art

Materials

Leather, Velvet, Plaster

Large Vintage Tribal Handwoven Ethnic Round African Basket
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Large vintage Tribal handwoven bamboo ethnic round Asian basket. Beautiful artisanal handwoven basket with tribal designs and patterns all around. Large Asian rattan handcrafted de...
Category

Late 20th Century Asian Folk Art

Materials

Wicker, Rattan, Seagrass, Bamboo

Grouping of Five Hand-Painted and Carved American Folk Art Fish Decoys
Located in Brooklyn, NY
Group of five Folk Art fish decoys composed of painted tinned iron sheet metal or aluminum fins and tails and carved wooden weighted lead bodies, some with applied eyes; others with ...
Category

1940s American Vintage Folk Art

Materials

Metal, Aluminum

Victorian Mahogany Sign Painted Chest of Drawers, Fisher Gentleman’s Outfitter
Located in Chillerton, Isle of Wight
Victorian mahogany sign painted chest of drawers, fisher gentleman’s outfitter shop display This is a real Gem, the chest of drawers is made in mahogany and has Gold and Shadowed ...
Category

Mid-19th Century Antique Folk Art

Materials

Paint

18th Century French Folk Art Carved Wooden Baroque Angel
Located in Amsterdam, NL
Very nice Folk Art baroque angel France, circa 1700-1750 Weathered, small losses and old repairs Measurement is with the wooden base. More pictures are available on request.
Category

18th Century French Antique Folk Art

Materials

Wood

African Folk Art Wooden Bucket, 1900s
Located in Stockholm, SE
Rare and beautiful African bucket made out of solid wood. In good vintage condition with some signs from age and use.
Category

Early 1900s Burkinabe Antique Folk Art

Materials

Wood

African Folk Art Hand Carved Sculpture Fork and Spoon
Located in North Hollywood, CA
Hand carved African tribal wood carved sculpture of a men and women, Africa tribal Art Decor. Kenyan tribal sculpture featuring an elongated standing man and women with a crown an...
Category

20th Century Kenyan Folk Art

Materials

Wood

Three Hand Cut Iron Galloping Horses Outdoor Sculpture on Base
Located in Toledo, OH
Three hand cut horses from sheets of iron in stride with welded hooves outdoor sculpture mounted on iron platform base. Artist Michael Sohikian and from our understanding, the base w...
Category

21st Century and Contemporary North American Folk Art

Materials

Iron

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