Skip to content

Expressions Unbound: American Outsider Art from the Andrew and Linda Safran Collection

About the Exhibition


Aug 29 – Dec 16, 2018


Featuring works by some of the foremost self-taught artists of the 20th century – including Thornton Dial, Howard Finster, Bessie Harvey, William L. Hawkins, Mary T. Smith, Jimmy Lee Sudduth, and Purvis Young – Expressions Unbound celebrates the recent gift from Tufts and Fletcher alumnus Andrew and Linda Safran. The Safran Collection marks the first major contribution of American outsider art to the school and is the largest single-collection gift of works by African American artists received to date. Expressions Unbound highlights 19 artists known for their transformative use of materials—from paint and pencil to dirt and found wood—to visualize bold and deeply personal narratives. Whether rooted in experience, religious fervor, or popular culture references, the works in Expressions Unbound exemplify modes of regional art making that have long lived outside the academy structure, but have had enormous impact on visual culture and the arts. Expressions Unbound is accompanied by a full-color catalogue by art historian Evie T. Joselow, PhD, that documents the entire collection.