If You’re in the Neighborhood in January

January 3, 2010

If you’re in the neighborhood check out the following exhibits. Enjoy!

Philadelphia Museum of Art (http://www.philamuseum.org)

Kantha: The Embroidered Quilts of Bengal showcases over 40 examples of quilts from Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal. According to the museum website, stitching these quilts was an art practiced by women and created from remnants of worn garments. The quilts were embroidered with motifs and tales drawn from the rich local lore. They were made for the celebration of births, weddings and other family occasions. The quilts in this exhibit were created during the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. It was during this time period that this domestic art flourished. The exhibit runs through July 25, 2010. Check the website for additional details. 

Philadelphia University (http://www.laceintranslation.com)

According to the website, this exhibit is an exploration by three contemporary international art and design studios whose works are often inspired by traditional lace imagery. The artists explored the historic Quaker Lace Company collection of The Design Center at Philadelphia University. They were then commissioned to create new works to be installed in the Center’s galleries and adjoining grounds. This exhibit runs through April 3, 2010. The website features some great photographs of the various works of art. Another fun feature of the website is the “Your Translation” page. The gallery invites the public to display their handmade pieces in any area of the needlearts–whether it be lace, crochet, cross-stitch, knitting, tatting, embroidery, quilting, beading or weaving. Visit the website for more information on posting your work as well as admission information.

Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum (http://www.vesterheim.org)

Sacred Symbols, Ceremonial Cloth highlights many symbols that have been passed down from ancient times and explores how they were used in Norwegian family rituals through the 19th century. According to the museum’s website, four themes will explain and demonstrate the functions of the symbols used on textiles and other objects. These include the symbols of sun; matrimony and fertility; guardians of the home and barn and those that live inside them; and the spirit world. Each theme includes a scene with furniture and enlarged historic photographs. A highlight of this exhibit is the eight textiles on loan from Norway. Vesterheim is located in Decorah, Iowa. This exhibit runs through February 21, 2010. For museum hours and prices of admission please visit their informative website.

Baltimore Museum of Art (http://www.artbma.org)

During the 18th and 19th centuries there was a preoccupation with love and loss in the American school girl embroideries. Mournful Maidens: Love and Loss in American Embroidery showcases samplers that range from mourning the loss of loved ones to lamenting the inevitability of death. This free exhibit runs through February 21, 2010.

Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles (http://www.lacismuseum.org)

Bobbin Lace-The Taming of Multitudes of Threads celebrates “500 years of one of the most humbling achievements of the human soul with a presentation of laces, lace makers and lace making.” This exhibit runs through February 1, 2010. If you can’t visit the museum in person the website features highlights of this exhibit. Click on the Exhibit tab to check it out.

Note: All photographs are courtesy of the individual museums.


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