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The Folk Art Collection of Elie and Viola Nadelman

New-York Historical Society Museum & Library


The avant-garde sculptor Elie Nadelman (1882-1946) is widely recognised for his elegant, modernist works. Less familiar is the pioneering folk art collection he established with his wife, an impressive trove of some 15,000 objects that was purchased by the New-York Historical Society in 1937. Influenced by the ‘peasant arts’ of his native Poland and other European countries, Nadelman began collecting after immigrating to New York City in 1914. There he met and married the wealthy and cosmopolitan Viola Spiess Flannery (1878-1962) in 1919, with whom he collected American and European folk art with an all-consuming passion. Read more.

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