What is the Art of the People?

Our identity is rooted in our history and icons from each person’s cultural heritage. Folk art, or the art of the people, comprises one aspect of this cultural heritage. But if folk art represents our history, then this must be constantly evolving and accumulating, with each passing year? It can not, by its nature, be static. As time marches on, so must our cultural heritage.

‘Folk art’ encompasses art produced from an indigenous culture, or by peasants, or other laboring tradespeople. In contrast to fine art, folk art is primarily utilitarian and decorative rather than purely aesthetic. – [Wikipedia]

The art of the people or ‘ folk’ represents a moment in time; it talks of what life was, and is, like, for those folk,or people. Is it important to preserve that for future generations?


What is today’s cultural heritage or folk art? Traditional artifacts, or everyday objects and memories that are relevant for individual people?slow cooker

Scandinavian festival

“Even though many objects produced today are mass produced consumables, with a short lifespan, they represent an important pillar for our identity.”

[Valdres FolkeMuseum, Fagernes]
IMG_20140914_113038 (Small)


Iconic objects that have strong personal or cultural meaning may also comprise folk art and memorabilia of today’s society.


Some objects may represent passion or tell a story, have some aesthetic frame around people’s lives or have some meaning in a cultural sense.


Family 2014 017-001


What objects would you include in a museum exhibit from this decade?

What object has meaning to you, in today’s society? What could represent your folk art, or cultural heritage from this decade? Is it a photograph, CD, machine, or artwork?

Please share your thoughts.




29 thoughts on “What is the Art of the People?

    • That is an excellent suggestion! Some of us spend more time on our smartphones than we do with our family!! And the play station would really be a defining ‘toy’ of a generation! Thanks for your comment. I see that you have perhaps a Finnish blog name? Am I right?

      Liked by 2 people

      • That is mind boggling but most likely true, Yvette! It has almost become a compulsive habit for some. I wonder what the long term outcome of that will be? I believe there are studies showing deterioration in concentration levels as a result. What do you think?

        Liked by 2 people

      • I think u might be right ! And in September I heard that people in a study looked at there phone 50 to 100 times a day – and so this week when the radio said an average was two thousand I was shocked – but I can sorta see it – especially for some folks

        Liked by 1 person

  1. this was such a good post – had me really thinking – and I think an artifact to represent this decade would maybe be a monitoring camera – I guess here in the States = our last Presidential admin (obama) made this the most camera-monitored time ever –

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In today’s technological world of consumerism, and throw away everything, it’d be hard to pick any one item for a museum. I think mobile phones are definitely up there, and a cordless land line is already almost obsolete. Your post definitely was thought provoking – so many things now become outdated so quickly. If they all became museum items we’d have to build some very big museums,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good point, Chris. the quick turn around and fast pace of technology means things never last in our lives for long before they are updated and outmoded. It is hard to think of something that has some permanence.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is an interesting question. When I had my students, I always had one lesson in which I drew a Time Capsule on the board and asked them to agree on ten items that would be buried in it for people to come after us (some 200 years on – or more -) to understand our generation. The suggestions looked like your answers, but as there were to be ten items, it also included a computer, a car and a digital camera. If you try to shorten the list, the cellphone is a small computer and also a camera. So my conclusion is – The phone must be THE device.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The smartphone certainly seems to have pervaded all our lives, and we devote much time to it. The car also has a place, especially in a large country like ours, where we drive vast distances. I think a television also is still a valid marker of our society, even though the content has changed from network to on demand streaming. A time capsule is a great project. My kids had the task of producing one for each student, the size of a shoe box at the start of their high school years with a letter and questions that would be returned to them five years later on their last day of school. It sure was a great experiment and interesting how much they had changed and grown up. Thanks for your input. Being a teacher I am sure your kids would have had fun with that project.


      • That is good to hear, however, it seems to be the minority here. My boys did it at their school, but not my daughter’s school. Although now that she is nearing the end of schooling, they had a different project – a letter from parent to child that would be given to the girls on graduation, about their past and possible future and baby photos memorabilia etc. A similar thing but coming from a different angle.


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