Not too long ago, the American Folk Art Museum and its holdings of work by the outsider artist Henry Darger were located right next to the Museum of Modern Art on West 53rd Street. While the AFAM has been forced to move out of the area because of financial woes, there will soon be plenty of Dargers in the area: his estate has given 13 double-sized drawings to MoMA. Carol Vogel just reported the news in her Inside Art column today.
It turns out that Darger, who is known for elaborate pastel-colored drawings incorporating intricately drawn children living in a fantastical land, is already represented in the museum’s collection, though there are not any on view right now. Here’s MoMA Chief Curator of Drawings Connie Butler in The New York Times:
“Darger was one of those standout, self-taught artists who has had an enormous influence on many generations of younger artists….And we have had a long history of collecting so-called outsider material, which is a lesser-known piece of MoMA’s history.”
Klaus Biesenbach, the director of MoMA PS1, who is an expert in Darger’s work, reportedly helped broker the deal.