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British Folk Art
Tate Britain: Exhibition
10 June 31 August 2014

Adult £14.50 (without donation £13.10)
Concession £12.50 (without donation £11.30)
Help Tate by including the voluntary donation to enable Gift Aid
Additional booking fee of £1.75 (£2 via telephone) per transaction applies
Under 12s go free (up to four per parent or guardian)  

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  • British Folk Art Press shot 1
  • Items hanging on the wall for British Folk Art exhibition at Tate Britain
  • British Folk Art Press shot 2
  • George Smart Goose Woman c 1840
    George Smart
    Goose Woman c.1840
  • Unknown Bone cockerel
    Unknown, Bone cockerel
    230 x 120 x 230 mm
  • Unknown Crimean Quilt
    Unknown Crimean Quilt
  • Alfred Wallis, 'The Blue Ship' ?circa 1934
    Alfred Wallis
    The Blue Ship ?circa 1934
    Oil on board laid on wood
    support: 438 x 559 mm
    frame: 528 x 646 x 46 mm
    Presented by H.S. Ede 1959© The estate of Alfred Wallis
  • Heart pin cushion British Folk Art
    Unknown, Pin Cushion
  • D.J. Williams The Four Alls
    D.J. Williams, The Four Alls
  • Unknown, Sun trade sign
    Unknown, Sun trade sign (detail)
    The sign formerly hung outside the premises of Gorton and Sons, veterinary chemists
    located at 146 High Street, Whitechapel from about 1720

Discover the extraordinary and surprising works of some of Britain’s unsung artists in the first major exhibition of British folk art.

Steeped in tradition and often created by self-taught artists and artisans, the often humble but always remarkable objects in this exhibition include everything from ships’ figureheads to quirky shop signs, Toby jugs to elaborately crafted quilts.

You will find an intricate sculpture of a cockerel, made out of mutton bones by French POWs during the Napoleonic wars. There is a larger-than-life-size figure of King Alfred made out of thatch. There are examples of the mysterious ‘god in a bottle’ – votive offerings suspended in bottles of clear liquid – as well as naive paintings, tin trays covered with ornate fragments of crockery and much more besides. The show exemplifies the energy, variety and idiosyncrasy of British Folk Art.

Folk art has often been neglected in the story of British art: by uncovering this treasure trove of folk art objects, this exhibition asks why.

The British Folk Art exhibition will be touring to Compton Verney from 27 September 2014 to 14 December 2014 as part of Compton Verney’s 10th anniversary celebrations.

The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated book by Tate Publishing.

The exhibition is curated by Martin Myrone, Curator, Tate Britain, Ruth Kenny, Assistant Curator, Tate Britain and artist Jeff McMillan.