It would be great to have a folk art exhibition at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. Perhaps in two parts. The first could include items like the Buxton Mermaid; the Staffordshire Clogg Almanacs; the Staffordshire corn dollies recently exhibited in 2010 in St. Ives and the traditional corn bowknots of Staffordshire; examples of the pottery bird whistles that were placed in chimneys to prevent spirits from entering the house that way; the oldest traditional canal art relics; unusual weather vanes; small pre-Victorian kinetic wood or papier-mache toys; textiles and embroidery; wood carving if some has survived from before the 19th century (also the Staffordshire Clogg Almanacs); archaic designs on ceramic slipware from the 1700s and 1600s, with curious ceramics such as bear jugs and the weird archaic owl in the FitzWilliam. More could probably be found if one put out a call to the UK’s museums. But if there’s not enough material available, then the older items could be the lead-in for an exhibition of modern and contemporary (genuinely naive) folk art from Staffordshire.
Staffordshire owl at the FitzWilliam, circa 1730-1750.