Wisconsin Folk Art: A Sesquicentennial Celebration Project Collection, 1995-1999

Scope and Content Note

The collection is arranged in four series: Manuscript Materials, Sound Recordings, Graphic Materials, and Electronic Media.

Folklore fieldwork documents practitioners of ethnic traditions in the state, various influences on artistic and cultural traditions, and current practices and future directions. Of the three Cedarburg Cultural Center collections, documentation of public presentation of folklore field research is most fully documented in the Wisconsin Sesquicentennial collection, and includes correspondence with the exhibit designer and fabricators, exhibit schematic drawings, floor plans, display case specifics, and multiple versions of the exhibit script, label signage, and catalogue copy.

Manuscript Materials consist of Administrative Files and Research Materials that document ethnographic research for and administration of the Sesquicentennial folk arts exhibition. Administrative Files include personnel contracts (fieldwork, photography, and exhibition services, and a catalogue essay agreement); documentation and correspondence with featured folk artists; planning meeting and budget records; correspondence with exhibit fabricators; exhibit design, script and label copy, and catalogue materials and mock ups. Research Materials include field reports, audio, photo, and slide logs, and artist consent forms.

Sound Recordings consist of 9 audiocassette recordings of interviews with folk artists Elda Schiesser, interviewed by Janet C. Gilmore; and Norman Seamonson, Stephanie Lemke, and Monroe Johnson, interviewed by Anne Pryor.

Graphic Materials consist mainly of 35 mm color slides shot by Lewis Koch, documenting folk artists, folk art works, and the process of creating those works. Some of the materials included here were originally made for an earlier Cedarburg Cultural Center exhibition, “Passed to the Present: Folk Arts Along Wisconsin's Ethnic Settlement Trail.” Researchers should check the Graphic Materials series of that collection for additional images of these artists. Also included are slides by James P. Leary, Janet C. Gilmore, prints used in the exhibition, other photo documentation used for the catalogue or exhibition related materials, floor plans, display case specifications, and 2 VHS videorecordings, one celebrating the diversity the exhibition showcases, and the other a sponsor thank-you video.

Electronic Media consists of 6 3 1/2-inch floppy discs, with electronic copies of catalogue essays by James P. Leary and Ruth Olson, Robert T. Teske's catalogue essay and introduction, artist biographies, exhibition checklists, quotations by folk artists, and True Type Font files.