If You’re In the Neighborhood in February

February 2, 2010

William King Museum (http://www.williamkingmuseum.org)

William King Museum in Abingdon, Virginia is hosting An Educated Woman: Art from Girls’ Schools and Women’s Colleges. The exhibit, on display until July 11, 2010, focuses on ornamental, or schoolgirl, art as part of the curriculum in the early days of women’s education in southwest Virginia and northeast Tennessee. According to the museum’s website, this installation will “highlight ornamental art projects and the history of the region’s many women’s educational institutions.” Needlework will be just one type of art on display. Visit the website for more information on hours of operation.

Ruth Funk Center for Textile Arts (http://www.textiles.fit.edu)

Speaking with Thread: The Narrative of Textiles “will feature textiles that present stories through their imagery and symbolism.” Pieces from the museum’s collection as well as those from private collections will make up this exhibit. Objects include European samplers, imperial Chinese textiles and Persian carpets. The exhibit runs through April 24, 2010. The museum, on the campus of Florida Institute of Technology, is open Tuesday-Friday 10:00-4:00.

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. Created during the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries, the quilts were made for the celebrations of births, weddings and other family occasions. It was during this time period that this domestic art flourished. The exhibit runs through July 25, 2010. Check the website for more details.

Philadelphia Museum (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 or installation 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 homemade pieces in any area of the needleart. Visit the website for more information on posting your work as well as museum admission information.

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

Closing Soon Sacred Symbols, Ceremonial Cloth highlights many symbols 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 show 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)

Closing Soon 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 Schoolgirl Embroidery showcases samplers that range from mourning the loss of loved ones to lamenting the inevitability of death. The free exhibit runs through February 21, 2010.

Note: all photographs are courtesy of the individual museums.

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