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00:00:01 - Biographical information

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Partial Transcript: The interviewer is Amanda Fickey and the interviewee is Adrian Swain, curator at the Kentucky Folk Art Center.

Segment Synopsis: Swain offers a brief description of his background. He talks about coming from England to live in the United States. He describes his move to Kentucky and his growing interest in Kentucky art. Swain talks about his involvement at Morehead University, which led to his current position as curator for the folk art collection.

Keywords: Artists--Appalachian Region--Biography.; Folk Art Gallery; Folk art--Kentucky--Exhibitions.; Folk art--Kentucky.; Morehead State University.; University of Kentucky

Subjects: Adkins, Minnie, 1934-; Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; College art museums; Kentucky Arts Council; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Regionalism and the arts.; Swain, Adrian, 1947-

00:04:39 - Kentucky Folk Art Center

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Partial Transcript: Um, well then, let's go ahead and discuss, uh, the Kentucky Folk Art Center.

Segment Synopsis: Swain discusses the mission and role of the Kentucky Folk Art Center. He talks about the goals that he hoped to achieve during his tenure as curator. Swain also discusses the current exhibits that are being shown at the museum, including images of the Great Depression as well as exhibits related to migration and travel.

Keywords: Folk Art Gallery; Folk art--Kentucky--Exhibitions.; Folk art--Kentucky.; Franklin Delano Roosevelt Library and Museum; Smithsonian Institution

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Regionalism and the arts.; Swain, Adrian, 1947-


GPS: Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.180522, -83.434069

Hyperlink: Kentucky Folk Art Center website
00:07:59 - Appalachia-specific exhibits

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Partial Transcript: I'm just curious, do you have any, um, exhibits, or do you make an effort to include exhibits that deal primarily with social studies issues pertaining specifically to Appalachia?

Segment Synopsis: Swain discusses the only exhibit he has presided over which dealt specifically with Appalachia. He talks about it in the context of the one-hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the founding of Rowan County, Kentucky. Swain also notes a brief summary of the history of Rowan County, leading to the founding of Morehead State University.

Keywords: Appalachian art; Rowan County (Ky.)--History.; Rowan County (Ky.)--Social life and customs.

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Regionalism and the arts.; Rowan County (Ky.); Swain, Adrian, 1947-


GPS: Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.180522, -83.434069

Hyperlink: Kentucky Folk Art Center website
00:09:28 - Being a potter / Starting a gallery

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Partial Transcript: Um, well, let me step back, uh, to your discussion of being a potter.

Segment Synopsis: Swain discusses his interests as a potter by trade, and what forms of pottery he likes to produce. He also addresses his financial status working as an artist. He talks about working other jobs to supplement his income, as well as running a gallery. He explains why the gallery project failed, but foreshadowed the skills he learned to use in the future.

Keywords: Art pottery, British.; Artists--Appalachian Region--Biography.; Folk Art Gallery; Folk art--Kentucky--Exhibitions.; Folk art--Kentucky.; Garland Adkins

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Pottery--20th century.; Pottery--21st century.; Regionalism and the arts.; Swain, Adrian, 1947-

00:19:21 - Artists that Swain has worked with

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Partial Transcript: Let's shift to that, then. Let's talk about some of the artists--

Segment Synopsis: Swain discusses the artists that he has worked with in getting their work displayed at the museum. He notes the difference in their understanding of the world from our contemporary one, discussing the difference in how far they traveled from home. He also talks about the question of whether traditional work is necessarily art. Swain lists various artists he has worked with and their endeavors.

Keywords: Artists--Appalachian Region--Biography.; Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (Smithsonian Institution); Denzil Goodpaster; Folk Art Gallery; Folk art--Kentucky--Exhibitions.; Folk art--Kentucky.; Noah Kinney; Selling Tradition: Appalachia and the Construction of an American Folk, 1930-1940

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; Becker, Jane; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Kinney, Charlie, 1906-1991; Regionalism and the arts.; Swain, Adrian, 1947-; Tolson, Edgar, 1904-1984


GPS: Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.180522, -83.434069

Hyperlink: Kentucky Folk Art Center website
00:27:43 - Berea College and student craft program

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Partial Transcript: Um, now, how do you see Berea College and the craft program, and the student craft program, fitting into all of this?

Segment Synopsis: Swain discusses the role of Berea College in promoting folk art and crafts in the region. He does not offer much to say about the college, but transitions to talking more about the nature of tradition. He talks about the role of tradition and its relevance to modern life. He also talks about the role Berea College played in perpetuating stereotypes about Appalachian culture.

Keywords: Berea College Craft Program; Berea College Student Crafts; Folk Art Gallery; Folk art--Kentucky--Exhibitions.; Folk art--Kentucky.

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; Berea College; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Regionalism and the arts.; Swain, Adrian, 1947-


GPS: Berea College (Berea, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 37.574987, -84.287899

Hyperlink: Berea College Student Crafts website
00:30:07 - Art as a supplemental income

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Partial Transcript: Well, let's go from the sixties forward. Most of the folk artists that you're purchasing artwork from, that you're displaying here, are they using that as a primary source of income?

Segment Synopsis: Swain discusses how artists that worked for the Center obtained income. He notes the mixed nature of how artists obtained money. He talks about the other jobs that artists such as Lavon Williams and Bob Morgan work to fund their art careers. He also talks about the relationship between generations and their different styles of art and working in the art industry.

Keywords: Bob Morgan; Finances; Income; Lavon Williams; Money

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Regionalism and the arts.; Swain, Adrian, 1947-; Williams, Lavon

00:34:59 - Working with older artists

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Partial Transcript: Um, well, let me ask a question, not specifically about Minnie, but about older artists in general, sixty or above.

Segment Synopsis: Swain discusses the role age and government assistance played in the ways artists produced and sold their work. Swain notes the success of a marketing program that helped him sell various pieces of art over the years. He notes the issues of working with certain artists, due to a museum and government institution's power to legitimize certain discourses or ideas.

Keywords: Folk Art Gallery; Folk art--Kentucky--Exhibitions.; Folk art--Kentucky.

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Regionalism and the arts.; Social security (International law); Swain, Adrian, 1947-

00:41:19 - Art on display

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Partial Transcript: So, at this point, the displays that you have, the folk art that you have on display, those are all donated to the museum?

Segment Synopsis: Swain discusses the artwork presented at the museum and how they are acquired. He notes the importance that these works were bought rather than primarily acquired through donations. However, he talks about helping out local artists by combining purchasing and donations. He discusses the issue of pricing, and attempts of artists to raise their prices.

Keywords: "A Day in the Country" exhibit; Folk Art Gallery; Folk art--Kentucky--Exhibitions.; Folk art--Kentucky.; Hagan McGee

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists--Economic conditions.; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Regionalism and the arts.; Swain, Adrian, 1947-


GPS: Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.180522, -83.434069

Hyperlink: Kentucky Folk Art Center website
00:46:27 - Artists and pricing their products

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Partial Transcript: Well, the reason I asked that is, like, having been here for a couple of years, I'm sure that you've noticed how artists in the region price their products.

Segment Synopsis: Swain considers how artists priced their items and what they took into consideration. He notes the advantage to artists when they had other jobs to rely on besides art that allowed them to price their work better. Swain and Fickey discuss the importance of offering diverse items at art and craft fairs as helpful in providing good products for affordable prices.

Keywords: Folk Art Gallery; Folk art--Kentucky--Exhibitions.; Folk art--Kentucky.

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Regionalism and the arts.; Swain, Adrian, 1947-

00:53:25 - Appreciation versus profit

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Partial Transcript: Um, in some of the cases where it's not been like a fair, and I've, I've worked with a group of basket producers...

Segment Synopsis: Swain and Fickey discuss the fine line between gift-giving and undervaluing the artist's work. They talk about the issue as being one of playing to the crowd and offering too much with little return. They discuss whether the tradition of gift-giving in the community has allowed stereotypes of Appalachian people to continue.

Keywords: Folk art--Kentucky--Exhibitions.; Folk art--Kentucky.

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Regionalism and the arts.; Swain, Adrian, 1947-

00:57:02 - Definitions of art versus craft

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Partial Transcript: Um, well, let's, uh--let me ask you just a couple more questions about some of the work that--

Segment Synopsis: Swain discusses the distinction between arts and crafts for the purposes of admitting work into the Kentucky Folk Art Center. He notes the importance of focusing on building a collection that would be unique to the Center and build a niche collection. He also talks about how the works are from self-taught artists and how that was defined. Swain also notes the distinctness of the art separate from an Appalachian context.

Keywords: Folk Art Gallery; Folk art--Kentucky--Exhibitions.; Folk art--Kentucky.

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Regionalism and the arts.; Swain, Adrian, 1947-

01:03:31 - Effect of globalization and commodity chains

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Partial Transcript: I--again, this topic came up in another interview, and it was a discussion where, um, you know, commercialization and mass production's made it very easy to go to Walmart and buy the--

Segment Synopsis: Fickey and Swain discuss the role of globalization and mass consumer culture in the decline of art and crafts. Swain admits his concern that the ability to refrain from cheaper goods to buy hand-made local works was a privilege of the wealthy. They also talk about the role of commodity chains and educating people on where goods come from, and the prices of certain conveniences.

Keywords: Commercialization; Commodity chains; Globalization; Mass production; Walmart

Subjects: Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Regionalism and the arts.; Swain, Adrian, 1947-

01:11:09 - Uniqueness of the Kentucky Folk Art Center

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Partial Transcript: Was there anything, Adrian, that we haven't touched on today that you think is really significant for me to consider or to think more about or--

Segment Synopsis: Swain talks about the importance and uniqueness of the Kentucky Folk Art Center. He discusses how narrow and niche the collection was compared to other folk art museums. He notes the variety of artists of various backgrounds and educations, as well as his interaction with collectors.

Keywords: Folk Art Gallery; Folk art--Kentucky--Exhibitions.; Folk art--Kentucky.

Subjects: Adkins, Minnie, 1934-; Appalachian Region.; Art museums and community.; Art museums--Acquisitions; Art, American--20th century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--21st century--Exhibitions.; Art, American--Exhibitions.; Art, Primitive--Exhibitions.; Artist-run galleries; Artists and museums.; Artists and their art; Artists.; Arts and crafts movement--United States.; Arts and crafts.; College art museums; Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead State University); Regionalism and the arts.; Swain, Adrian, 1947-


GPS: Kentucky Folk Art Center (Morehead, Ky.)
Map Coordinates: 38.180522, -83.434069

Hyperlink: Kentucky Folk Art Center website