On almost every weekend thousands of American artists travel near to home or across the country to exhibit their work at outdoor fairs. These art fairs comprise an art world of their own and are a business unique to America.

Very little has been written about this cultural phenomenon in spite of the large number of artists who participate and the huge crowds of people who attend and purchase work at some of these events. From Clotheslines to Canopies: A History of Outdoor Art Fairs in America is an informal history of this art world.

The history on these pages chronicles the early shows that are still in operation and also features the most influential shows in this industry. In addition it describes the issues confronting artists that participate in the business and how these artists function within its confines.


About the Author

The author, Kathleen Eaton is a painter who has been selling her work at galleries and art fairs for many years and has experienced the business since the time before canopies came into usage. Often when she talked with other artists about art fairs a comment was made that someone should write a book about them. Years went by and that never happened so she decided to try to assemble this information herself, before the people who had lived through the changes in the business were no longer around. Since she is an artist not a writer she occasionally enlisted the help of other people with this project. However, in her earlier life, she did have experience working in and doing research in libraries so the parts of book that needed carefully examined background material are thorough.