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About The Ames Gallery

The Ames Gallery was established in Berkeley, California in 1970 in the back room of a popular crafts shop. In the spring of 1971, the Gallery moved "temporarily" to its present residential setting at the base of the Berkeley hills. Initially exhibiting the work of academically trained artists, the Gallery soon began a shift toward folk art and the works of self-taught, naïve, intuitive, art brut, and visionary artists. We are now celebrating our 45th year!

The Ames Gallery is now the San Francisco Bay Area’s only gallery to feature contemporary self-taught and outsider art as well as antique Americana folk art. During its long history, the Gallery has produced many innovative shows and, most notably, introduced outsider art to Californians.

The Gallery has two primary goals. One is to offer unique and highly desirable handmade and homemade American folk art, the relics of our heritage. The other goal is to exhibit the paintings, drawings, and sculpture of contemporary self-taught, naïve, visionary, and outsider artists, mostly from California. We have succeeded in introducing many previously unknown (California) artists, notably A.G. Rizzoli, Dwight Mackintosh, Alex Maldonado, and Barry Simons, who now have substantial followings, enjoying national, and in some cases, international recognition.

Bonnie Grossman