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Entries in Ammi Phillips (1)


Christie's New York Recently Announced Americana Week 2010

Rare Double Portrait by Ammi Phillips (1788-1865)From

[T]he lead highlight of the Americana Week sales is an exceedingly rare, full-length double portrait of Theron Simpson Ludington (1850-1922) and His Older Sister Virginia Ludington (1846-1865) by the prominent 19th-century American portrait artist Ammi Phillips (estimate: $300,000-500,000). Unknown among Phillips works until earlier this year, this dynamic, even humorous portrait of two young siblings has been passed down through generations of the Ludington family of Goshen, CT until the present day. Phillips was commissioned sometime around 1852 to paint the family’s members, which included formal portraits of the children’s parents....

Phillips was a naive (self-taught) New England painter--now regarded as one of the most important folk artists of his era. The distinctions between naive art, folk art, and outsider art are often blurred--and the terms are frequently used interchangeably. Naive artists generally refers to painters living in mainstream culture who pursue individualized subjects and themes, such as Henri Rousseau. Folk art typically embodies subjects dealing with a particular culture and/or tells us something about the community or traditions of the artist. Naive painter Grandma Moses is considered a folk artist. Outsider Art refers to works created by individuals living outside or on the fringes of mainstream society--such as homeless people, prisoners, mental patients and the like. One common feature is that all of these forms generally engage artists who have had no formal training--but who pursue their art with the same commitment as professional artists. Although their works were once widely referred to as "primitive" -- and sometimes are still so labeled -- there is a tendency among art historians to avoid that term these days. Some professional (formally trained) artists have chosen to align themselves with the Outsider Art movement--as a way of protesting and challenging what they see as the elitism of the contemporary art world.