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Kobayashi, Terry and Michael Bird.

Erin (Ont.), Boston Mills Press, c1985. 241pp, paper, $14.95, ISBN 0-919783-32-5.CIP

Grades 9 and up
Reviewed by Ches Sulkowski

Volume 14 Number 2
1986 March

In this handsome and compact text, we are introduced to some five hundred folk artists representing numerous regions of Canada and over three centuries of art work. The format ranges from brief descriptions of little-known persons to highly detailed accounts of the life and work of more prominent artists.

Terry Kobayashi and Michael Bird are widely respected authorities on Canadian folk art. They have a growing list of folk art publications, including four books on folk and decorative arts in Ontario and Canada. They have lectured extensively throughout North America and have organized numerous folk art exhibitions. They are both still involved in education and their personal folk art collection has recently been declared a national treasure.

The strength of the compendium is not only the large number of alphabetically documented artists, but its easy readability. The black-and-white reproductions that appear on almost every other page make browsing and reading an enjoyable experience. The descriptions are brief, simple, and easy to comprehend. The only weakness, perhaps, is that many of the artifacts represented should have been shown in colour. Colour is an important element in folk arts and unfortunately all the illustrations are in black and white, except for the cover. A Compendium of Canadian Folk Artists is an important book however and belongs in every school library. Highly recommended.

Ches Sulkowski, Annandale H.S., Tillsonburg, Ont.
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