After nearly 10 years at West 53rd Street, the embattled American Folk Art Museum is retreating uptown to its smaller branch across from Lincoln Center. The institution’s current home, which was sold to the Museum of Modern Art in May to defray the Folk Art Museum’s $32 million debt, will close July 9.
Founded in 1961, the American Folk Art Museum opened its Lincoln Square exhibition facility in 1989. Since the 2001 inauguration of the 53rd Street building, designed by the New York City based architects Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, the museum’s former home has operated as a satellite exhibition space and gift shop. Now it is being reestablished as the institution’s primary venue.
The museum expects to maintain a full schedule of exhibitions and programming despite the challenges of operating in smaller quarters. A current exhibition of American quilts, “Super Stars,” will be on view until September, and will be followed by curator Stacy C. Hollander’s “Life: Real and Imagined—A Decade of Collecting,” featuring portraits by 19th-century painters Ammi Phillips and Jacob Maentel, and work by James Castle, Henry Darger and Martín Ramírez.