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People Files

Identifier: A0003

Scope and Contents

Like the “Topical Subject” files, the “People” files have two constituent parts, one deriving from materials donated to the library by Dr. Bishop, the other originating in the library and developed by Edith Wise during the last few years [c. 1988]. Both consist of folders devoted to individual persons but, whereas the “Wise” files are concerned wholly with prominent folk artists past and present, the “Bishop” segment is wide-ranging in coverage: a significant portion relates to contemporary and folk artists, but there are folders for all artists and schools, together with a good deal of material on figures from fields other than art (e.g. Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are included for their treatment in art). Although some fields contain no more than a single brief item, others yield a harvest of materials raging from pamphlets, newspaper and periodical articles, and press releases to autograph letters and photographs (slides, color prints, black and white glossies, even negatives) of works of art. The Bishop segment is particularly rich in gallery announcements of one-man shows and similar ephemera; the self-portrait has also received special attention.

Source: American Folk Art Museum librarian Edith Wise, c. 1988

The Bishop and Wise Files have continuously been added to by museum staff and Folk Art Institute students. Collectively, these files make up the American Folk Art Museum People Files. Files are arranged alphabetically by surname, and files that originated from the Bishop donation are marked as such.


  • Majority of material found within 1970-1980s


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. Access to sensitive materials may be restricted at the discretion of the American Folk Art Museum.

Conditions Governing Use

The People Files are owned by the American Folk Art Museum. The collection is subject to all copyright laws, and is dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship.


56 linear feet

Language of Materials



The People Files is arranged alphabetically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The files are continuously added to by museum staff. Many of the files were given to the museum by Director Robert Bishop, and are marked as such.

Note to researchers:

The American Folk Art Museum People Files is currently being updated to include agent links for every entry. There are hundreds of artists in this collection, so please check back periodically as the finding aid is updated regularly.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the American Folk Art Museum Archives Repository

47-29 32nd Place
Long Island City New York 11101 United States
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