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Art Gallery of Nova Scotia celebrates Barack Obama and Family with contemporary folk art portrait

Jeff Gray sends in some great news from Halifax, Nova Scotia: ” The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has unveiled a new addition to the permanent collection. The piece, The Obama Family, by renowned Nova Scotia Folk Artist Bradford Naugler was acquired with funds generously donated by the Art Sales and Rental Society.”

AGNS - The Obamas.jpg (874 KB)


The work depicts the Obama Family carved larger than life size. Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Malia Obama and Sasha Obama and joined by the family dog Bo. Mr. Naugler was inspired by seeing President Obama’s various speeches both as a candidate and as the new President of United States. While Mr. Naugler has carved Barack Obama before, this was the first time that he captured the whole Obama family. The work won rave reviews at the recent Lunenburg Folk Art Festival and will be on view at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia until September 7, 2009.

“This work is instantly recognizable as the Obama family and as a work by Bradford Naugler, one of the most important contemporary folk artists working today. It is a wonderful addition to the AGNS Collection, and a much appreciated show of support from the Art Sales and Rental Society,” notes AGNS Director and CEO Ray Cronin. “The enormous symbolism of the election of Barack Obama as President of the United States was not lost on Canadians. We are proud that our permanent collection will have this important artwork of what is certainly to be a defining moment of the 21st century.”

Bradford Naugler is considered one of Canada’s most prominent and successful folk artists’, with his work exhibited and collected in both North America and Europe. He was born in 1948 in Camperdown, NS and began carving in 1989 after working in the forestry industry and as a house painter. While his experience as a house painter gave him his introduction to the use of vibrant colours, it was his love of the surrounding woods and animals, which provided him with his inspiration. Mr. Naugler is well known for his carvings of roosters, peacocks, seagulls and bears,as well as mermaids. His work ranges in size and often comment on major news items. Mr. Naugler was featured in the 1994 National Film Board production “Folk Art Found Me” and his work is held in the collection of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is well know and respected for its folk art collection and is currently showcasing highlights from the folk art collection in the exhibition, Show of Hands and the always popular Maud Lewis Painted house and Gallery has been a must-see attraction for more than 10 years.

The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is home of the provincial art collection which numbers more than 14,000 works. The Gallery is located in Downtown Halifax with a second location in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia. For more information please visit

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AGNS - The Obamas.jpg (874 KB)

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