The High Museum of Art has received a $2.5 million gift from Atlanta-based patrons Dan Boone and his late wife Merrie to support and expand the museum’s folk and self-taught art initiatives, including the endowment of a permanent, full-time curatorial position to lead the department.”Merrie and I shared a passion for southern self-taught art,” said Boone, who is on the High’s board. “We also shared a vision: for the High to develop the world’s preeminent collection of self-taught and folk art.”
The establishment of the Merrie and Dan Boone Curator of Folk and Self-Taught Art enables the continued growth of the museum’s exhibition program, conservation efforts and collection, which is recognized as a significant public repository of contemporary American folk and self-taught art in the world. With this gift, all seven collecting departments at the High have a full-time endowed curatorial position.
Founded in 1994, the folk art department counts some 800 objects in its collection. Though focused largely on the southern region, with depth in such artists as Nellie Mae Rowe, Reverend Howard Finster and Bill Traylor, its collection also includes works by Henry Darger, Martín Ramírez and Joseph Yoakum, among others.
The High is currently conducting a national search to fill the new curatorial position. The position has been empty since Susan Crawley resigned in 2013, which had worried folk art enthusiasts.