Self-Taught Artists Crafted the Masterpieces at the American Visionary Art Museum

May 22, 2018

If you're not familiar with the concept of visionary artists, the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) succinctly sums it up this way: "Visionary artists don't listen to anyone else's traditions. They invent their own." Visionary artists typically have no formal education. They follow their own creative instincts to make masterpieces. Come to AVAM to see their work in person.

The museum houses a permanent collection that encompasses a wide variety of artistic mediums, from a wind-powered sculpture to an assortment of painted window screens. The sculpture, which is simply dubbed the "Giant Whirligig," sits outside of the museum. It rises 55 feet into the air and weighs a whopping three tons. Farmer and mechanic Vollis Simpson crafted the multi-hued masterpiece when he was in his late 70s as a homage to the American dream. The collection of painted window screens pays tribute to a longstanding Baltimore tradition, in which visionary artists across the city embellished their screens with paint in order to obtain privacy without shutting out breezes.

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