Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts
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|Established||1987 (built 1856)|
600 East 900 South
Salt Lake City, UT 84105
|Director||Jennifer Ortiz and Adrienne Decker|
The Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts is operated by the Utah Division of Arts & Museums, and has been the permanent home of the Utah State Folk Arts Collection since 1987. It is a venue for artists from Utah's various communities to display their traditional craft, music, and dance with fellow Utahans and international visitors. In addition to exhibits and concerts, the Chase Home contains an archive of recordings and photographs that document Utah's traditional culture.
In the early 1850s Mormon leader Brigham Young and his partner Isaac Chase built a flour mill and a two-story adobe house in the center of a 110-acre (0.45 km2) pioneer farm. In 1888 that farm became Liberty Park and today both structures still remain. The mill and Liberty Park have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or NRHP.
The Native Gallery
The mountains, valleys and deserts of Utah have long been the home of native Indian peoples. Today's American Indians no longer need to build shelters from brush, sew clothing from animal skins or weave household containers from local vegetation. Yet many Native Americans perpetuate these skills by creating handmade objects, used at community celebrations or sold to art collectors, that express their cultural identity.
The most common art forms produced are objects crafted from locally gathered materials. Some weave willow into utilitarian basket forms handed down from antiquity or into brightly colored trays used both in modern-day ceremonies and sold through the tourist art market. Others transform wood, willow, buckskin and beads into cradleboards that are still used to carry infants. Many artists make clothing, jewelry and accessories using brain-tanned buckskin decorated with glass beads, porcupine quills, shells or sequins for community members to wear at pow wows and other native events. And Utah's native artists also transform wood and hides into drums, courting flutes and rasps.
Utah's American Indian population includes those affiliated with land-based resident tribes—the linguistically related Goshutes, Northern Utes, Paiutes, Shoshones and Ute Mountain Utes and the Athabaskan-speaking Navajos—and those from other tribal groups who have chosen Utah as their home.
The Ethnic Gallery
Immigration to Utah began as Mormon pioneers from America, the British Isles and Scandinavia, joined Native American groups in what became Utah Territory. By the time of statehood, immigrants from Southern Europe and Asia were among those contributing to this growth. And throughout the 20th century waves of immigration continued with Hispanics, Polynesians, Southeast Asians and most recently Eastern Europeans coming to make Utah their home.
Although many traditional arts are sometimes modified or even lost when people migrate from one society to another, the most symbolic folk arts often persist. Folk crafts central to religious belief, community celebration or ethnic identity are among the most common. Among the most vibrant expressions are those that tell the story of immigration through traditional art.
The Occupational Gallery
Many Utahans identify themselves through their occupation. Occupational groups create traditional arts that embody the group's values, concerns and way of life. Among the occupational folk arts being crafted in Utah today are stonecarving, blacksmithing and the production of ranch gear. While many Utah folk artists produce objects intended for use, others handcraft decorative pieces, often miniature objects or scenes, that memorialize activities from their occupational past.
The Rural Gallery
Early life in the frontier West required self-sufficiency, forcing people to develop knowledge and skills to survive. With materials, merchandise and entertainment often difficult to find, people looked to themselves to satisfy their needs.
Utahans continue to braid rags into rugs, sculpt miniature scenes commemorating life in earlier times, and whittle puzzles and chains.
Liberty Park is located in Salt Lake City between 900 South and 1300 South and between 500 East and 700 East. The Chase Home is located just West of the park's center. the largest park of Salt Lake City, Utah.
- Chase Home Museum of Utah Folk Arts - Official website