The contemporary artist has been elected from among four new trustees.
KAWS has been an outsider art collector for many years.
Four new trustees have been elected to his board by the American Folk Art Museum in New York: contemporary artist KAWS (Brian Donnelly), Sabiha Al Khemir, Jane Shallat and Joanne Siegmund.
“In addition to their wide-ranging and diverse interests, they each cherish the American Folk Art Museum and its mission,” Says Elizabeth V. Warren, president of the board. “I know they will contribute to a lasting and successful future for the museum.”
KAWS, known and famous for its early cartoon-influenced street art that has developed into a booming art practice of painting, sculpture, and other media, is a museum’s long-standing collector of Outsider art and owns works by Martín Ramírez, Henry Darger, Joe Coleman, and William Edmondson. While not growing up with art at home, “unless you count paintings of the woods”, he told us earlier this year, “collecting was ever present, if not conscious”.
Formerly an assistant district attorney for New York City, Siegmund and her late husband Frederick created a collection of furniture, decorative objects, paintings and quilts made in New England from the 18th and 19th centuries. She is an active member of the collections and educational committees of the folk art museum and has been a member since 1979.
Shallat is a philanthropist who concentrates her giving on the arts and Jewish causes and has served on the board of American Friends of Museums in Israel and is a member of the acquisition committee at New York’s The Jewish Museum.
Al Khemir is a professor, novelist and artist who holds a Master’s degree in Islamic Art and Archeology and has worked as a curator and consultant for institutions including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Paris Louvre.
The museums director Jason Busch said. “Each of these individuals will bring a unique perspective to the museum as we continue to provide diverse audiences with greater exposure to self-taught art across time and place,”


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