Person to Person: Communicating Identity
Through Wisconsin Folk Objects
Folk Culture in Wisconsin
The objects in this exhibition provide only a sampling of regional folk culture, but considered as a group, they help weave a tapestry that gives Wisconsin a distinctive sense of place. Objects of Wisconsin folk culture demonstrate the many ways in which people have communicated their ethnic, geographic, religious, and occupational identities to one another. They provide evidence of personal connections within and between cultures and across generations.
An examination of how and why these artifacts were made and used sheds light on people's sense of self and community.
Wisconsin Folk Objects Communicate Identity
Three very different duck decoys demonstrate the variety of ways Wisconsin residents communicate their identities to one another.
In the top left is a male canvasback duck decoy carved by Fred Bliefernich of Princeton, Wisconsin, created to represent a personal connection between the hunter and a Wisconsin tradition.
In the top right is a finely detailed male bluebill duck decoy, carved by Milton Geyer of Green Bay, Wisconsin, meant to display his carving abilities.
At the bottom is a rosemaled carved duck created by Vi Thode of Stoughton, Wisconsin, a sculpture inspired by two Wisconsin folk practices of rosemaling and decoy making. Vi used her skill in Norwegian-American folk art to decorate a classic symbol of Wisconsin duck hunting and woodcarving.