folk/art/vernacular border dispute

From Tom Lubbock’s review of last year’s exhibition Folk Archive: Contemporary Popular Art from the UK, which discusses the politics of determining which forms of folk culture get to be art (among other things), and actually uses the term ‘vernacular creativity’, this is a great list:

I write about things that appear in art galleries, and other bona fide art contexts. I do not write about crop circles. I do not write about the kind of sculptures that people make from junk and put in their front gardens. I do not write about painted eggs, decorated cakes, floral arrangements, sandcastles, snowmen, guys, scarecrows, fairground signs, trade-union banners, demonstrators’ placards, houses covered in Christmas decorations, shop displays, roadside memorials to car victims, carnival floats, community murals, drawings on the backs of dirty vans, graffiti, tattoos, ornamented crash helmets, home-made shrines to Elvis and Di, topiary, bottle-top mosaics, or lost-cat notices pinned to trees. I do not write about these things, however well they are done. But now, for one week only, I will.

[update 15/05]

In photography, see also Kodak and the Rise of Amateur Photography:

In 1998, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art organized the exhibition Snapshots: The Photography of Everyday Life, 1888 to the Present, and in 2000 the Metropolitan Museum presented Other Pictures: Anonymous Photographs from the Thomas Walther Collection. Both exhibitions featured a myriad of photographs that, through some technical error—a tilted horizon, an amputated head, a looming shadow, or inadvertent double-exposure—achieved a strange and unexpected visual charm. Removed from their original context in the family album, these anonymous vernacular photographs take on new meanings, inviting interpretation as a uniquely modern form of folk art.