Arts and Crafts in Appalachia


The arts and crafts of the Appalachian region have been a part of the culture of the people long before the area was recognized as the Appalachian Mountains or as a distinct cultural region. While the arts were a very present and prominent aspect of the lives of the people, it received scattered and varied attention from the academics until the Folk Art Movement beginning in the 1960s. This pathfinder covers various arts and crafts of the Appalachian region before and after the Folk Art Movement.

Introductory Text: 

Wilson, Charles Reagan, and William Ferris (editors). “Arts and Crafts.” (by John Michael Vlach) Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989: 460-61. F209 .E53 1989 (ASU SPEC APP COLL)

Library of Congress Subject Headings: 

Highly Relevent:

Appalachian Region In Art

Art – Kentucky

Art – North Carolina

Art – West Virginia

Folk art – Georgia

Folk art--North Carolina

Southern Highland Handicraft Guild

Quilts – North Carolina

Also Relevant:

Art, American--West Virginia

Art -- Tennessee

Arts – Tennessee

Art glass--North Carolina--Cullowhee--Exhibitions

Art industry and trade--West Virginia--Periodicals

Arts--Appalachian Region, Southern

Folk Art – Kentucky -- Exhibitions

Folk art--North Carolina--Exhibitions

Folk art--North Carolina--History--20th century—Exhibitions

Folk Art -- Virginia

Folk art--West Virginia--Periodicals

Folk Artists Appalachian Region, Southern Biography

Quilts – West Virginia

More General:

Artisans--Appalachian Mountains, Southern

Artisans--Appalachian Region

Arts and crafts movement--Southern States

Folk art--Appalachian Region, Southern

Pottery – Kentucky

Primitivism in art – Kentucky -- Exhibitions

Primitivism in art--North Carolina--Guilford County—Exhibitions


Folk art -- Alabama


Tolson, Edgar, 1904-1984

Clipping Files Subject Headings – W. L. Eury Appalachian Collection: 

Art – Appalachia

Basket Making


Country Life

Culture – Appalachia

Fairs and Festivals

Folk Art

Folk Schools




Handicrafts – Cherokee Indians

John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, NC

Log Cabins


Penland School, Penland, NC


Southern Highland Folk Art Center and the Handicraft Guild




Library of Congress Call Numbers: 

Highly Relevant:

NC 139.G225 A2

ND 230.W4 C88

NK 811 .L36 – NK818 .M53

NK 9112 .N6

NK 9798 .T65

Also Relevant:

NK 9712 .B75 (main)

NK 9112 .V35

More General:

TT 23.2 .H67(main) – TT23.2 .V45

NX 506 .I82

E 99.C5 D83

NK 9112 .Q34


F106 .E53

F292.R3 F89 – F292.R3 F624


Arnold, Dorothy Andora. Some Recent Contributors of the Cherokee Indians of North Carolina to the Crafts of the Southern Highlands. Knoxville, TN: The University of Tennessee, 1952 (Graduate Thesis). NK 814 C5 A75. (ASU APP COLL #)

Craig, James H. The Arts and Crafts in North Carolina. Winston – Salem, North Carolina: Old Salem, Inc., 1965: 480 pages. NK 835.N8 C7 (ASU APP COLL #)

Eaton, Allen H. Handicrafts of the Southern Highlands. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1973 (c1937): 370 pages. NK 814. E2 1973 (ASU APP COLL #)

George, Phyllis. Kentucky Crafts. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc., 1989: 203 pages. NK 835 .K4 B76 1989 (ASU APP COLL #)

James, A. Everette, Jr., A. Everette James III and Edwin E. Ritts, Jr. Eugene Healen Thomason: The Ashcan Artist of Appalachia. New York: Vantage Press, 1987. NK 237 .T55 185 T36 (ASU APP COLL #)

Jones, Michael Owen. Chairmaking in Appalachia: Style and Creative Imagination in American Folk Art, vol.1 & vol. 2. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University, 1969 (Ph. D. Thesis). NA 5096 .J6 vol.1 (ASU APP COLL #)

Jones, Michael Owen. Craftsmen of the Cumberlands: Traditions & Creativity. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky, 1989. NK 2715. J57 (ASU APP COLL #)

Rubin, Cynthia Elyce (editor). Southern Folk Art. Birmingham, Alabama: Oxmoor House, Inc., 1985: 223 pages. NK 811 .S68 1985 (ASU APP COLL #)

Weaver, Emma. Crafts in the Southern Highlands. Asheville, North Carolina: Southern Highlands Handicraft Guild, 1971 (Reprint 1975): 46 pages. NK 811 .W42 1971 (ASU APP COLL #)

Guides, Encyclopedias, and Dictionaries: 

Abramson, Rudy, and Jean Haskell, eds. “Crafts.” Encyclopedia of Appalachia 2006: 770–841. F 106 .E53 2006 (ASU APP COLL #)

Axelrod, Alan and Harry Oster. The Penguin Dictionary of American Folklore. Penguin Reference, 2000: 199; 14. GR105.34.A94 (ASU APP COLL #)

Moffatt, Frederick C. “Fine Arts” Encyclopedia of East Tennessee. Edited by Jim Stokey and Jeff D. Johnson. Kingsport Press, 1981: 190-91. F442.1.E53 (ASU APP COLL #)

Rosenak, Chuck and Jan. Contemporary American Folk Art: A Collector’s Guide. New York: Abbeville Press, 1996: 70-117. NK 808. R59 (ASU Reference)

Rosenak, Chuck and Jan. Museum of American Folk Art Encyclopedia of Twentieth-Century American Folk Art and Artists. New York: Abbeville Press, 1990: 81-2, 83-4, 134-35, 155-56, 166-68, 173-74, 250-52, 290-92, 303-5. NK 808 .R6 (ASU Reference)

Sellen, Betty – Carol. Self Taught, Outsider, and Folk Art: A Guide to American Artists, Locations and Resources. North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc., 2000. NK 805.S46 (ASU APP COLL #)

Sullivan, Ken, ed. The West Virginia Encyclopedia. Charleston: Thomson-Shore, 2006. 26–27, 177–178. F 241 .W47 2006 (ASU APP COLL #)

Wilson, Charles Reagan, and William Ferris (editors). “Arts and Crafts.” (by John Michael Vlach). Encyclopedia of Southern Culture. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1989: 460-61. F209.E53 1989 (ASU Reference & ASU APP COLL #)


Appalachian Bibliography. Morgantown, West Virginia: WVU Library, 1980: 1111-1112. Z1251 .A7 A6. (ASU APP COLL#)

Appalachian Bibliography vol.1. Morgantown, West Virginia WVU Library, 1972: 91-99. Z1251 .A7 A6. (ASU APP COLL #)

Bonner, Simon J. American Folk Art: A Guide to Sources. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1984: A41, A75, E37, E60, H29, L15, M40. Z5956 .F6 A53 1984 (ASU APP COLL #)

Bugler, Peggy A. “Kentucky’s Traditional Arts and Crafts: A Bibliography.Kentucky Folklore Record vol. 26, January – December (1-4), 1980: 62-66. GR1 .K42 (ASU APP COLL #)

Cogswell, Robert. “A Selected Bibliography of Tennessee Folk Arts”. Tennessee Folklore Society Bulletin, 1984 vol.50 (4): 142-45. GR1 .T36 (ASU APP COLL #)

Merger, George H. (editor). Folk Artists Biographical Index. Detroit: Gale, 1987. NK 805 .F63 1987 (WCU Reference)

Ross, Charlotte, T. (editor). Bibliography of Southern Appalachia. Boone: Appalachian Consortium Press, 1976: 54. Z1251 .A7 B5x (ASU APP COLL #)

Abstracts and Indices: 

(Accessed through ASU library web page under Article Databases and E-Research Tools)

America: History and Life with Full Text. provides access to journal articles, book reviews, and dissertations relating to United States and Canadian history and culture. Relevant topics include Popular Culture, American Studies, Literature/Folklore, Interdisciplinary Studies, Anthropology, Sociology, Education, Music, and Art. Sources date from 1955 to present.

Art Full Text: includes relevant subjects such as archaeology, architecture, art history, crafts, decorative arts, film, painting, photography, sculpture, and textiles. Sources date from 1984, with monthly updates to present.

Search subject headings for each database:

Highly relevant:

Art and Appalach*

Crafts and Appalach*

Also Relevant:

Folk Art and Appalach*

Folk Art of Kentucky*

Folk Art of West Virginia

More General:

Folk Art of Tennessee*


Folk Art


Appalachian Heritage. Hindman, KY: Appalachian Heritage, Inc. Vol. 1-, 1973- . Quarterly. F106.A137 A6 (ASU APP COLL #)

Appalachian Journal. Boone, NC: Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State University. Vol. 1-, 1974 – Quarterly. F216 .2. A66 (ASU APP COLL #)

Goldenseal. Charleston, WV: State of West Virginia, Department of Commerce. Vol. 1-, 1978 – Quarterly. F241 .G64 (ASU APP COLL #)

Journal of Appalachian Studies. Huntington, WV: Appalachian Studies Association. Vol. 1-, 1996 – Two times a year. F106 .J74 (ASU APP COLL #)

Now and Then. Johnson City, TN: Center for Appalachian Studies and Services. Vol. 1- , 1984-. Three times a year. F217.A65 N68 (ASU APP COLL #)

Foxfire magazine (formerly Foxfire). Rabun Gap, GA: Foxfire Fund, Inc. Vol. 1- , 1967- . Quarterly. GR1 .F59 (ASU APP COLL #)

Compiled by: 

Rachel Westrom,

November 1, 2007

Updated by: 

Brittany R. Hicks,

October 23, 2012