University of Alberta PressJohn Fleming, Michael Rowan, and James Chambers have made use of their extensive networks, word of mouth, and even fortuitous accidents to discover and record well over 425 distinctive examples of Canadian folk art. They have organized the book into seventeen affinities, which emphasize folk art’s multiple manifestations and its “aesthetic of the everyday.” Canada’s material heritage is told through paintings and carvings, boxes and game boards, quilts and rugs, tables and trade signs—to mention a few. Readers will gain an intense appreciation of the understated particulars of Canada’s history and evolving cultural identity. Canadianists, historians, curators, collectors, and dealers, as well as anyone who appreciates folk art, will want to have this sumptuous book close at hand.

John A. Fleming is Professor Emeritus in the Department of French and the Centre for Comparative Literature, and a former Director of the Museum Studies Program, all at the University of Toronto. Michael J. Rowan is a graduate in Fine Arts, and has been an antiques dealer, appraiser, and museum consultant since 1973. He specializes in folk art and ethnic furniture. He lives in Green River near Toronto. James A. Chambers has been a professional photographer and photo-based artist for more than 35 years. A noted photographer for art books, he was formerly head photographer at the Art Gallery of Ontario. He lives in Hamilton.


A daring and beautifully articulated re-examination of Canada’s material heritage with close to 500 eye-catching images.

– Dr. Robert Klymasz
Curator Emeritus,
Canadian Museum of Civilization

Antiques enthusiasts will probably love this book, particularly for the furniture, kitchen implements and other household objects depicted. Here, it’s about that crucial point where the maker stepped past straightforward functional design to use imagery, ornamentation or unique crafting techniques to turn something into true folk “art.

Read the rest of Roger Levesque’s review “Lavish volume celebrates beauty and invention of Canadian folk art in the Edmonton Journal, January 10, 2013


Canadian Folk Art to 1950
John A. Fleming & Michael J. Rowan
James A. Chambers, Photographer
9” x 9” • 600 pages
220 pages, 498 colour photographs, notes, bibliography, index
ISBN: 978-0-88864-556-2 • $45.00 (T) paper
ISBN: 978-0-88864-630-9 • $75.00 (T) cloth
Co-published with the Canadian Museum of Civilization by the University of Alberta Press
Pub date: October 2012