Gifts are present at all of life’s great milestones: births, birthdays, weddings, and all of the little occasions in between. A Piece of Yourself: Gift Giving in Self-Taught Art is dedicated to exploring the interconnection between gift-giving practices in the United States and self-taught art through a selection of works from the museum’s collection. Self-taught art—an inherent expression of its maker’s views—complicates standard gift-giving dynamics by presenting a one-of-a-kind artwork instead of an everyday commodity.
Made between the late eighteenth and twenty-first centuries, the works on view speak of their self-taught origins through their immediate and personal nature. They show that, at its best, giving a work of art is giving a piece of yourself.