Programs & Services

No Idle Hands: The Myths & Meanings of Tramp Art

On display through Sep 16, 2018 at the Museum of International Folk Art

No Idle Hands: The Myths & Meanings of Tramp Art will present more than 150 examples of tramp art, concentrating on works the from the United States, with additional examples from France, Germany, Switzerland, Scandinavia, Canada, Mexico and Brazil to demonstrate the far reach this art form has had.

This is the first large-scale museum exhibition dedicated to tramp art since 1975. For many years, “tramp art” was believed to have been made by itinerants and hobos, thus its name. It has been demonstrated that this notion is largely erroneous, however the name “tramp art” has remained the only terminology used for this practice, and the paucity of scholarly studies to dispel the mistaken notions about tramp art have allowed the myths to persist. No Idle Hands will examine the assumptions related to class, quality, and the anonymity of the makers of tramp art and consider this practice instead through the lens of home and family while tracing its relationship to industry—whether as individual ethos or big industry. No Idle Hands will also include works by contemporary makers, thus establishing tramp art as an ongoing folk art form rather than a vestige of the past.

Also on exhibit at the Museum of International Folk Art


New Mexico CulturePass

Your ticket to New Mexico's exceptional Museums and Historic Sites.
From Indian treasures to space exploration, world-class folk art to awesome dinosaurs—our museums and monuments celebrate the essence of New Mexico every day.
More Info »

Cultural Atlas of New Mexico Mobile App

Where do you belong?
The Cultural Atlas of New Mexico leads you to historic and cultural places throughout the Land of Enchantment. Organized by region, proximity and interest, the Cultural Atlas will help you find where you belong.

Get it on Google Play

Featured DCA Exhibitions

Icons of Exploration

Showcases some of the Museum’s most celebrated objects including a real "moon rock," rare replicas of the first
more »

¡Aquí Estamos: The Heart of Arte!

¡Aquí Estamos: The Heart of Arte! celebrates the NHCC Art Museum’s growing permanent collection
more »

Da Vinci—The Genius Exhibition at New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science

Da Vinci—The Genius opens at the New Mexico Museum of Natural History & Science in Albuquerque at 9am on
more »

Patrick Nagatani: Invented Realities

A Survey across the late artist’s rich career, drawn primarily from the New Mexico Museum of Art’s
more »