Curious Notions, Fanciful Whims: Folk Art from the Southern Highlands

January 17, 2003 - June 22, 2003

Price-Strongwell Cultural Heritage Galleries

Exhibit Details

The Arts Center is honored to have this opportunity to present the folk art collection of Howard Campbell, allowing us to see the work of the region’s outsider artists as seen through his perceptive lens. In 1994, very early in the fieldwork for the Cultural Heritage Project, Howard Campbell’s most extraordinary collection was documented and the seed planted for this exhibition. Even Howard’s home is appropriate for his collection. Painted in bright, colorful hues with fanciful objects adorning the porch railings, it seems to beckon the visitor in for close inspection. Once inside, a visual treat meets the eye with hundreds of objects jumbled one on top of the other; each a unique one-of-a-kind creation made outside mainstream art by untrained, often unrecognized artists. Everything from birdhouses to windmills to dancing toys to handmade furniture (even portions of a paint-decorated house) all co-exists in harmony with the collector himself.


Howard states that folk art makes him laugh, reason enough to acquire the large collection he maintains today. Although often preferring the work of the anonymous folk artist, Howard Campbell is a respected authority on many known folk artists of the 19th and 20th centuries as well as a specialist on the folk art genre itself. Howard Campbell was educated at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland and has spent his life as a collector of art objects. He currently resides happily amongst his folk art collection in Elk Park,N.C.