Anonymous, Root with Suggestive Rib Cage Form, late-19th century. Carved and painted root, 38 x 6 x 4 in.

“Carved and Whittled Sculpture: American Folk Art Walking Sticks from the Hill Collection”

Columbus, Ohio

Columbus Museum of Art

Former Cranbrook Academy of Art sculptor-in-residence Michael Hall has challenged art world conventions for more than four decades. Though he has created a significant body of work during that time, his efforts as a critic, curator, and collector have been arguably more influential. In the 1960s and 1970s, he played a key role in shifting consideration of American folk art from old-timey curio to artistic expression demanding to be judged through the lens of contemporary aesthetics. In the 1980s and 1990s, he rescued the output of mid-century artists working in the Great Lakes region from virtual oblivion by using postmodern concepts of identity, site-specificity, and what we now term relational aesthetics. More recently, he surveyed creations of the First Peoples for the Canadian government…see the entire review in the print version of November’s Sculpture magazine.