Where Outsider Art Got a Warm Welcome Before It Was Cool
Art Business

Where Outsider Art Got a Warm Welcome Before It Was Cool

Ryan Collerd for The New York Times PHILADELPHIA — Eugene Von Bruenchenhein never sold a piece of his art during his lifetime, but Sheldon and Jill Bonovitz have plenty of examples of it in their home near Rittenhouse Square. Among their prized ceramics by Von Bruenchenhein are fantastical little thrones some six inches tall, constructed from chicken bones salvaged from TV dinners; dazzling crowns; and lacy, tabletop towers. “He was a baker, so he low-fired the ceramics in his oven and then spray-painted them,” said Mrs. Bonovitz, also a ceramic artist who began making vases after living with Von Bruenchenhein’s elaborate creations. She displays her more minimalist white porcelain vessels in juxtaposition with his pieces on inset shelves. Near the front door, as if to hail visitors, are wooden figures of a preacher and his wife, carved at three-quarters life size by the Appalachian artist S.L. Jones . “When we moved here, we placed all the art first and then bought the furniture,” said Mrs. Bonovitz, surrounded by the work of Bill Traylor , Martin Ramirez , Howard Finster , Purvis Young and James Castle among other sought-after self-taught artists and some obscure ones. “We know the field of […]

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