23 VARIETIES OF ETHNIC ART: And How to Make Each One by Jean & Cle Kinney

23 VARIETIES OF ETHNIC ART: And How to Make Each One

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From the authors who included TV commercials in their last book on American folk art (1974), a murky melting pot of pseudo-ethnic artifacts, very freely derived from the crafts of the 23 immigrant groups whom the Kinneys describe in ludicrous stereotypes and depict, with their work, in photos that only show up the shoddiness of these adaptations. Silliest of all is the chapter on the Irish, which begins with talk of the potato famine and Maggie and Jiggs and then, because the Irish are known for their ""wit and wordsmithing,"" goes on to profile Eugene O'Neill as a representative folk artist. The craft here? A comic strip on the order of Maggie and Jiggs. The English are represented by their topiary gardens, the Jews by seal engraving (though there's a ""kosher Santa"" from Israel pictured toward the end), and elsewhere the Kinneys tell you how to copy Spanish goldwork with copper foil, Dutch tiles and Chinese pottery with Sculptamold, Bohemian glass in a plastic paperweight, etc. Of course none of this will turn out much like the originals nor will you learn much about another culture in the process, but what the hell? If you want ethnic, call it ethnic.

Pub Date: Oct. 14th, 1976
Publisher: Atheneum