SEE AMMI PHILLIPS.
is a cultural and educational service of Morehead State University, and is operated by Kentucky Folk Art Center, Inc. It is a university-affiliated, non-profit corporation, in partnership with Morehead State University dedicated to the folk art of Kentucky. It was originally established in 1985 under the name "The Folk Art Collection," as part of the Department of Art at More-head State University. It was formally established in 1994 when plans were already underway for the development of a new facility for the collection. In 1998, KFAC celebrated the opening of its new museum, after entirely remodeling the former Morehead Grocery Building, originally a grocery warehouse in downtown Morehead built around 1906. The mission of the center is to focus on works made by self-taught visual artists from Kentucky, and on expanding public appreciation of self-taught art in general. The center has two galleries, a museum store, a research library, and a continually expanding archive.
A long-term exhibition of works from the permanent collection is installed in the first floor gallery, but the area can also be converted to a series of smaller exhibit spaces. The center presents four or five new exhibitions each year, in the Minnie and Garland Adkins Gallery. The exhibition program includes self-taught art, self-made environments, folk art traditions, and art from found materials, and the exhibitions are selected and designed to expand understanding of creative expression by self-taught artists. The center also produces traveling exhibitions that tour regionally and nationally. Educational programs place strong emphasis on programs for schools and university students.
The permanent collection contains about 1,000 works by self-taught artists, mostly from Kentucky, but some by artists from other states. The collecting focus, however, is on Kentucky artists, and all acquisition resources are used to support this goal. Certain works by non-Kentucky artists that enhance the collection have been donated to the museum.
The center has established a model for cultural preservation, presentation, and interpretation. By limiting the focus of its activities to a single state, this approach has established goals that are realistic for a small institution.
See also Environments, Folk; Outsider Art.
was a prolific, self-taught artist, best known for his paintings. Though it was not until between 1970 and 1991 that he received widespread public attention through exhibitions of his work, Kinney had been involved in some form of creative activity since his childhood. Born in northeast Kentucky with a birth defect (pectus excavatum), he learned ways to innovate early on to compensate for a lack of upper-body strength. He worked as a farmer, cut hair, and baked pies for sale at home, and also made oak-splint baskets. He learned to play the fiddle in a local style and played music all his life with his younger brother, Noah, a guitarist. He was a passionate storyteller and eagerly shared his knowledge of the natural world, local lore, and folk legends.
As a young man, Kinney shaped animal forms from clay, dried them on his woodstove, and painted them. He sold many of these to the Kentucky state parks, but few survive. He also made clay busts of Moses, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln. His paintings present unforgiving scenes of hell, local legends, the old way of life in Kentucky, landscapes, and events of local importance, all portrayed in bold, colorful brushstrokes of tempera, often applied over a preliminary pencil sketch. Many of the paintings have an outer border of black stove polish. Although Kinney attended school for about three years, the phonetic spellings of his writing on many of his paintings require some interpretation. Sometimes he wrote the title of a painting as "Griller" meaning Gorilla; an inscription as "Corn redy shuk," for "the corn is ready to shuck" (when depicting a cornfield); or wrote both, as in "hen hok gat snak," for "the hen (chicken) hawk has got the snake," on a painting he titled "Hean Hok Gat Radler," for Hen Hawk Got a Rattler.
With bold brushstrokes sparingly applied, Kinney produced stark images of a disappearing, self-reliant, agrarian world, depicting the practices, lore, and legends that had sustained it. In a larger sense, his paintings portray the vanishing cultural perspectives of a generation raised, according to longstanding tradition, in a way of life no longer viable in a world permanently transformed by the explosive events of a turbulent century. Kinney's paintings also portray and