Tuesday, April 26, 2011

part two

QUILTS: Masterworks from the Collection of the American Folk Art Museum
Part II of "Year of the Quilt"

Following the highly successful and critically acclaimed six-day extravaganza Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts that attracted almost 25,000 visitors, the American Folk Art Museum is pleased to continue its "Year of the Quilt" presentations. The second installment of masterpieces from its own esteemed collection QUILTS: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum, Part II, is on view from May 10-October 16, 2011.

Selected by guest curator Elizabeth V. Warren, each quilt was chosen as a glorious example of its time, style, and technique.  The exhibition brings together approximately 35 major quilts drawn from the museum's holdings, some of which are significant new acquisitions and are on view for the first time. Also included are "old favorites," the recognized cornerstones of the collection, as well as several quilts that have rarely been exhibited.

Characterized by a mastery of design, extraordinary color combinations, and innovative use of fabrics, these quilts reflect a spirit and energy that make them uniquely American. The exhibition focuses on the visual power and historic importance of this artistic tradition and the many skillful women who gave it shape.

"Textiles were among the most valued family possessions until well into the nineteenth century. Based on the rarity of the fabrics, the fine workmanship, and their well-preserved condition, it is clear that most of the historic quilts in the museum's collection are examples of "best" bedcovers, saved for use on special occasions or when company visited," notes Ms. Warren

The museum's preeminent collection includes all the primary forms and designs created over three centuries ranging from an unusually graphic and rarely exhibited 1810-20 New England wool Pieced Quilt to the shimmering 2001 Light from Far-Away Space quilt made of antique Japanese fabrics and hand-woven silk by Setsuko Obi.  Among the best loved, and a nod to Joanna S. Roseís collection, is the museum's Pieties, a red and white quilt with biblical and secular sayings in pieced lettering including the favorite "if you cannot be a golden pippin don't turn crabapple."  Two noteworthy bedcovers of great beauty and historical importance are the Center Star Quilt and the Baltimore-Style Album Quilt Top.

Among the quilts on exhibition for the first time are Log Cabin Barn Raising Variation, a striking Mennonite example from Ohio, and an Hawaiian Flag Quilt in red, white, and blue from 1860-70.  Two African American quilts by Lureca Outland from Boligee, Alabama, Wedding Ring Interpretation and Diamond Four-Patch in Cross Quilt, exemplify the museum's holdings in this area.

"It is important to consider each quilt in the context of the time and place in which it was made.   During the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when quilts were no longer needed for warmth, quiltmakers used the art form to express their creativity.  Some did so within the confines of popular decorating trends, including the Aesthetic movement and the Colonial Revival styles.  Contemporary quilt artists have the opportunity to transcend time and place, using the historical concept of a quilt as a starting point for their artistic, and often social and political statements," comments Elizabeth Warren.

A lavishly illustrated, full-color book written by Ms. Warren and published by Rizzoli in association with the American Folk Art Museum accompanies the two-part exhibition. The book includes a foreword by Martha Stewart and an introduction by Stacy C. Hollander and documents the 200 most important examples from the museum's distinguished collection.

On view at the museum's Lincoln Square Branch is the exhibition Super Stars: Quilts from the American Folk Art Museum. Ms. Hollander has selected 20 exciting textiles to highlight the dazzling diversity of this variable pattern as interpreted through more than one hundred years of quilt artistry.

Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum is sponsored by The Magazine Antiques. Additional support is provided in part by the Leir Charitable Foundations in memory of Henry J. & Erna D. Leir; the Gerard C. Wertkin Exhibition Fund; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; and with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, celebrating 50 years of building strong, creative communities in New York Stateís 62 counties.

About the Museum
The American Folk Art Museum, founded in 1961, is the foremost institution devoted to the collection, exhibition, study, and preservation of folk art.  Through the presentation of innovative exhibitions, educational programs, and scholarly publications, the museum explores the nation's diverse cultural heritage and related global expressions.  It is home to one of the world's preeminent collections of folk art dating from the 18th century to the present, including paintings, sculpture, textiles, ceramics, furniture, and the work of contemporary self-taught artists.

Visitor Information
American Folk Art Museum, 45 West 53 Street, New York 10019
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday 10:30 am - 5:30 pm; Friday until 7:30 pm; Closed Monday
Admission $12; Students and Seniors $8; children under 12 are free.  Free admission on Friday from 5:30 - 7:30 pm.  There is a Museum Shop and Caf»  
For further information: www.folkartmuseum.org or call 212/265-1040

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the update! I look forward to seeing the second part to this great exhibit!


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