“Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth Century American Folk Art and Artists”

by Chuck and Jan Rosenak, Abbeville Press, New York, 1990.

This is the grand-daddy of all reference books. Even though it is almost 20 years old, it is the most comprehensive of all of the American Folk, Vernacular, Outsider, Self-taught art books. Although it is nearly impossible to document all of the artists found in these genres, this is a great place to start.

“Contemporary American Folk Art  – A Collector’s Guide”

by Chuck and Jan Rosenak, Abbeville Press, 1996.

If you don’t have this book, click on this image and order it right now.  Even though it is 10 years old, it is essential for every outsider art collector or art lover.  Their genuine love and respect for the art and artists is evident on every page.  Rare Visions may have ignited my passion for this genre, and the Rosenak’s books have where I turn to learn more.  (I keep a copy in my car…just in case…) Click here for more information.

Slotin Folk Art

Within the Detour Art site, you will find every artist that was in the Slotin Folk Art Auction November 2006 catalog.  Steve and Amy Slotin have been most generous in not only sharing their images, but their expertise and friendship over the years.  If you love this art – do your best to attend at least one masterpiece auction.  With over 800 pieces of outsider art being auctioned in a single day, it is a crazy experience to see such wide variety of art in one place…and being sold at a rapid fire pace.  They also are gracious hosts Folk Fest, held in Atlanta every August.  It is a great chance to meet many folk artists, and the gallery owners that sell their art. Click here for more information.

Raw Vision Outsider Art Sourcebook

Raw Vision, Ltd., 2002.

It has have over 100 artists and 50 visionary environments, as well as an exhaustive listings of galleries, art fairs, museums, collections, publications, organizations and relevant web sites (like this one – ha). Click here for more information.

Light of the Spirit: Portraits of Southern Outsider Artists

by Karekin Goekjian and Robert Peacock, 1998. This is a beautifully photographed book. It creates a mood of mystery and reverence for the artists, and forces you to look again at the art in a see it in a new way. Click here for more information.

“Flying Free: Twentieth-Century Self-Taught Art from the Collection of Ellin and Baron Gordon”

by Ellin Gordon, Barbara L. Luck and Tom Patterson, exhibit catalog for The Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, 1997.

Click here for more information.

“Fantasy Worlds”

by Deidi Von Schaewen and John Maizels, Taschen America, LLC, 1999.

This books makes me want to just get in the car and drive (except when there is that pesky ocean that makes it tricky.) It proves that creativity knows no boundaries, and it is striking to discover the universal similarities in themes and compositions. Click here for more information.

Sacred Spaces & Other Places: A Guide to Grottos & Sculptural Environments in the Upper Midwest

by Lisa Stone and Jim Zanzi, Chicago, IL: The School of the Art Institute of Chicago Press, 1993.

This book is an absolute must for anyone traveling the upper midwest, or just wanting to learn more. I keep a copy in my car and it has led me on some wonderful adventures.

Self-Made Worlds: Visionary Folk Art Environments

by Roger Manley (Author), Mark Sloan (Author), Jonathan Williams (Contributor), Ted Degener (Photographer), Marcus Schubert (Photographer), John Blumb (Photographer), Ron Byers (Photographer) 1997.

A gorgeous book of visionary environments from all over the world and the folks that created them. It invites the afficionado of outsider art as well as poeple new to the art on a journey into creative worlds that take your breath away.

“Black Folk Art in America 1930-1980″

by Jane Livingston and John Beardsley, published for the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 1982. This is the seminal exhibit catalog that jump started the outsider art movement / appreciation in America. Click here for more information.

“Souls Grown Deep, Vol. 1: African American Vernacular Art of the South: The Tree Gave the Dove a Leaf”

Volume 1, by William Arnett, et al, Tinwood Books, 2000.

The first comprehensive overview of an important genre of American art, Souls Grown Deep explores the visual-arts genius of the black South. This first work in a multivolume study introduces 40 African-American self-taught artists, who, without significant formal training, often employ the most unpretentious and unlikely materials. Like blues and jazz artists, they create powerful statements amplifying the call for freedom and vision.

“Souls Grown Deep, Vol. 2: African American Vernacular Art”

by William Arnett, et al, Tinwood Books, 2001.

Completing the two-volume set, Souls Grown Deep, Vol. 2 takes the visual and historical presentation of the first volume to a richer level, offering an even broader array of artistic styles and media. Published in 2000, the first volume explored the diverse historical roots of the genre and introduced artists whose work recalled the South of the pre–civil rights era. This sequel brings the movement into the present, delving into the work of the current generation of artists who are creating a complex form of art that blurs the boundaries between folk and contemporary art.

The Intuitive Eye: The Mendelsohn Collection

by Gael Mendelsohn, Michael Mendelsohn, Ricco/Maresca Gallery, FotoFolio, U.S., 2000.

Let it Shine Self-Taught Art from the T. Marshall Hahn Collection

Essays by Lynne E. Spriggs, Joanne Cubbs, Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, catalogue by Susan Mitchell Crawley, photography by Peter Harholdt. Organized by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA, 2001.

Contemporary Folk Art—Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum

by Tom Patterson, Watson-Guptill Publications, 2001. “Highlights work created by self-taught artists over the past 40 years. Magical and approachable, their art displays ingenuity, insight, wit, and reverence as they express tehir deeply felt experience of the world around them.”

Baking in the Sun, Visionary Images from the South

by Andy Nasisse and Maude Wahlman, University of Washington Press, exhibit catalog, 1987. An exhibition of naive art from 16 untrained Southeastern artist. Click here for more information.

Testimony: Vernacular Art of the African-American South: the Ronald and June Shelp Collection

by Kinshasha Conwill, Arthur C. Danto, Harry N. Abrams, publisher, 2001.

“Extraordinary Interpretations: Florida’s Self-Taught Artists”

by Gary Monroe, University of Florida Press, 2003.

O Appalachia: Artists of the Southern Mountain

by Ramona Lampell and Millard Lampell with David Larkin, Stewart, Tabori & Chang, publisher, New York, 1989.

Wos Up Man? Selections from the Joseph D. and Janet M. Sheen Collection of Self-taught Art

Palmer Museum of Art, 2005.

American Self-Taught Art: An Illustrated Analysis of 20th Century Artists and Trends with 1,319 Capsule Biographies

by Florence Laffal and Julius Laffal, McFarland and Company, 2003.

Self Taught, Outsider, and Folk Art—A guide to American Artists, Locations and Resources

by Betty Carol Sellen, 2000.

20th Century American Folk, Self Taught, and Outsider Art

by Betty Carol Sellen, 1993.

Detour Art— Outsider, Folk Art and Visionary Environments Coast to Coast

by Kelly Ludwig, Kansas City Star Books, publishers, 2007.

Yes, this is a bit of shameless self-promotion. Detour Art features selections of art from my collection and photographs of visionary environments that I have visited.