Whether friendly or fierce, sublime or surreal, animals have captivated the imagination of artists in every place and time. A Kingdom in Pieces explores the influence of animals on a range of creative work. Drawn from the collections of two Long Island City–based organizations—the Self-Taught Genius Gallery of the American Folk Art Museum and Fountain House Gallery & Studio—the diverse occupants of this global menagerie tell stories, evoke emotions, express ideas, and teach us about ourselves in relation to the natural world.
A Kingdom in Pieces is an invitation to reflect on the myriad species that share our planet—from the majestic to the mundane. The title makes reference to Peaceable Kingdom, a celebrated series of paintings by Quaker preacher and self-taught artist Edward Hicks (American, 1780–1849). Divided among six cases, A Kingdom in Pieces brings to mind Hicks’s desire for harmony in the wake of the sociocultural ruptures and ecological precariousness of our present time. What does it mean to cohabitate with animals? How can we be more responsible stewards of our common kingdom?
The Self-Taught Genius Gallery is dedicated to rotating exhibitions of highlights from the collection of American Folk Art Museum. The gallery is free and open to the public. Major support for the Self-Taught Genius Gallery is provided by the Henry Luce Foundation and the Booth Ferris Foundation. Additional support is provided by the Ford Foundation, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and the New York State Council on the Arts with support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.
Fountain House Gallery & Studio provides an environment for artists living and working with mental illness to pursue their creative visions and to challenge the stigma that surrounds mental illness. Fountain House Gallery & Studio is funded, in part, by generous support from the Hearst Foundation, Inc., the Renate, Hans and Maria Hofmann Trust, the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, the David Rockefeller Fund, and the Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund.
The New York Times Feature: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/11/arts/this-week-in-arts-a-menagerie-fresh-picked-plays-and-cuban-dance.html
American Folk Art Museum Exhibition Link: https://folkartmuseum.org/exhibitions/a-kingdom-in-pieces/