Art work

(Images for educational purposes only from the Collection de L'Art Brut, Lausanne. Photos by L. Moriarity, 2007.)



Various artists


Nek Chand


Shinichi Sawada






Some of the best known creators and makers of Art Brut. See artists listed in collections at websites for Collection de l’Art Brut Lausanne, Art Brut Collection abcd, Paris, and for contemporary works as well, Musée d'Art Naif, Paris. (This is a very short selection.)

Adolf Wolfli (1864 – 1930)
Aloise (1886 – 1964)
Bill Traylor (1854 – 1947)
Madge Gill (1882 – 1961)
Henry J. Darger (1892 – 1973)
Fleury-Joseph Crépin (1875 – 1948)
Scottie Wilson (1888 – 1972)
Edmund Monsiel (1897 – 1962?)

Well known and collected late 20th century to present day creators of Art Brut.
(This is also a very short selection.)

Mary T. Smith (1904 – 1995)
Unica Zürn (1916-1970)
Judith Scott (1943 – 2005)
Richard Greaves (1962 -
Nek Chand (1924 - )
Carlo (1916 – 1974)
Aleksander Lobanov (1924 - 2003)
Kunizo Matsumoto (1962 - )
Jivya Soma Mashe (1934 - )
Alma Rumball (1902 – 1980)
Dwight MacIntosh (1906 - )
Ikuyo Sakamoto (1953 - )
August Walla (1936 – 2001)
Consuelo Gonzalez (1903 – 1975)


Hans Prinzhorn: Prinzhorn had a varied background in the studies of philosophy, art history, and psychiatry. It is not clear when he began collecting the art of patients with the intent to exhibit rather than as cases. It was his task early in his career to collect the work for case study in the psychiatric hospital of the University of Heidelberg. The collection eventually totalled 5000 pieces. In 1922, he was published, Bildnerei der Geisteskranken (Artistry of the Mentally Ill) made connections between modern art and the art of his patients. While his colleagues were reserved by the book’s publication, artists were very much interested in the art work and the studies by Prinzhorn. The book had a terrific influence on artists such as Jean Dubuffet, Andre Breton, Paul Klee, Oskar Kokoschka, Ernst Kirchner, etc. The Prinzhorn collection, under the direction of his successor, was later used to discredit modern art and artists and patients in the Nazi exhibition titled, Degenerate Art.

Jean Dubuffet Fondation, Paris, 2007. Photo: L. Moriarity.

Jean Dubuffet: Jean Dubuffet questioned the culture of fine arts in Paris. He was one of the first artists to have supported and promoted Art Brut creations; a term he coined in the 1940s. Influenced by Prinzhorn's work as well, he traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland, in the 1940s to find artwork created by patients in hospitals of the mentally ill. He organized the first gallery showing of his collection of Art Brut at Rene Drouin Gallerie, Paris, France, 1944. He gave his collection to the city of Lausanne, Switzerland, which is now the Collection de l’Art Brut, Lausanne. It has grown to over 30,000 pieces.

Max Fourny: Fourny founded the Musée d'Art Naif, Paris, and he was a publisher as well as a collector of Art Naif, and Art Brut. The Museum is housed in the reverted Halle St. Pierre in Montmartre, Paris. He also wrote books and articles on art brut creations and artists, one title includes: Album Mondial de la peinture naïve. Some of the art works from his collection were also given to the Musée International d'Art Naïf in Vicq, France.

John Maizels: Founder of Raw Vision magazine, and author of Raw Creation: Outsider Art and Beyond (Phaidon Press, 1996), and more.

Bruno Decharme: Decharme is founder of abcd Art Brut Collection, Paris, 1999. His collection, covering over 20 years and over 200 items, makes up the core of abcd Collection. The collection continues to grow. The organization promotes Art Brut and contemporary artists. Decharme follows a similar philosophy of Jean Dubuffet and Hans Prinzhorn. Decharme is also a documentary filmmaker on the lives and work of the creators of Art Brut.

© 2007, L.Moriarity, For education purposes only. This page updated June 2008.