Permanent Collection

Don't miss

Human Soul & Machine: The Coming Singularity!

Closing August 31, 2014

It's your last chance to experience AVAM's 19th original show, hailed by Art & Antiques Magazine as "one of the most thought-provoking museum exhibitions mounted recently." This stirring exhibit harnesses the enchanting visual delights of remarkable visionaries and cutting-edge futurists, including Kenny Irwin Jr., Rigo 23, Lindsey Bessanson, Fred Carter, Allen Christian, Alex Grey, Ray Kurzweil, O.L. Samuels, and many more. It's a hot-wired blend of art, science, humor, caution and hope!



'Recovery' by an anonymous artist is on view in AVAM's Permanent Collection gallery

Recovery by Anonymous
c. 1950

Permanent Loan to the American Visionary Art Museum by the Edward Adamson Collection

This lone figure was carved from a single apple tree trunk. It was created as a self-portrait by a British mental patient who had a distinctive concave chest from years of tuberculosis. His doctor remembered that he took no interest in making art until he encountered a fallen apple tree during a walk on the hospital grounds and asked for help in dragging it indoors and getting simple carving tools. At that time, there was hospital prohibition for mental patients handling what could be 'lethal' instruments. However, Edward Adamson, a pioneer in using art to treat mental illness, persuaded the authorities to relax this rule, and trust the patient. The result, 'Recovery,' was a vindication of Edward's remarkable insight. For a month, the patient whittled the wood down to this figure. The artist, in his thirties, committed suicide about two years after leaving the hospital. This applewood figure is his only known work of art.