Reviews -- Unexpected Eloquence: The Art in American Folk Art

"Among collectors of American folk art, one of the most embattled was Howard Rose, the novelist and esthetician. Not one to hedge his bets, he did not hesitate to say, among much else, that he knew of 'a sheet-iron curlew weathervane, circa 1870, that is fit to have told the wind for any mosque in Byzantium.' ...Howard Rose was, that is to say, a polemicist in a grand tradition."
-- John Russell, The New York Times
"If serious art critics consider it at all, they usually regard American folk art as mere craftwork, albeit imbued with a creative spirit that is rooted in our country's cultural, social, political, and religious heritage. In this critical analysis, Howard Rose... challenges the condescension of this notion and lauds folk art's freshness, simplicity, and freedom from formal principles. Drawing a distinction between American folk art and Americana crafts, Rose defines the former in terms of individual genius and the latter in terms of 'material culture.'...Rose issues an eloquent plea for the respect a misunderstood art form rightfully deserves."
-- Booklist (American Library Association)
"Written in an elegant, precise style, the work argues that when the standards of excellence and aesthetic purity associated with the fine arts are applied to folk art, the artistic validity of folk art becomes apparent."
-- Small Press: The Magazine of Independent Publishing
"The question, though, is what makes some folk art fine art and some not. It's that issue that Rose addresses in Unexpected Eloquence, with a text that is entertaining as well as informative, not an unexpected combination from Rose, since he was also a novelist."
-- Poughkeepsie Journal
"Rose describes a revision of conventional preconceptions about the multi-faceted American heritage. In so doing, he challenges the art establishment and opens up the field to the larger audience of potential art lovers."
-- Columbus Dispatch
"A true testament to excellence in the field of American folk art appreciation."
-- Midwest Book Review

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