Digitization of Rare Interviews with ‘Outsider’ Artists

Grant to: American Folk Art Museum (2020)


An award in the amount of $14,830.00 to American Folk Art Museum in 2020.


“With support from the National Recording Preservation Foundation, the American Folk Art Museum will digitize rare audio recordings of interviews with folk artists that were recorded by Charles B. and Janice M. Rosenak throughout their travels in the Southeast, Appalachia, and New Mexico from 1967-1988,” says Jason Busch, Director and CEO of the American Folk Art Museum (AFAM). “These unique recordings capture the voices of some of the most prominent selftaught artists of the 20th century, primarily African American and Native American artists, that have been widely absent from the canon of American art.”

The interviews come from In Their Own Words: Digitizing the Hidden Recordings of Folk Artists’ Interviews from the Rosenak Collection in the American Folk Art Museum Archives.

“The project will enable a wider audience to access recordings of interviews with 26 iconic self-taught artists including Howard Finster, Sam Doyle, William Dawson, Lee Goodie, Malcah Zeldis, Leroy Felipe Archuleta, and others, all of whom are no longer living today,” says Ann-Marie Reilly, Director of Collections and Exhibition Production. “As AFAM prepares to mark its sixtieth anniversary in 2021, the project will be part of a broader celebration of our collection as we mark six decades of leadership in the field of self-taught art.”

About the NRPF

The National Recording Preservation Foundation (NRPF) is an independent, charitable organization and registered 501(c)(3) entity. The NRPF works across the United States to foster awareness of the diverse perspectives and communities documented in audio, to support the preservation of historical and at-risk audio collections, and to coordinate resources for the digital preservation of audio recordings. The NRPF was mandated through federal charter by the U.S. Congress under the National Recording Preservation Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-474) and was thereafter duly incorporated in 2010.

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