Monday, March 28, 2011

“Infinite Variety” - an exhibit of 651 red & white quilts

Great exhibition to appreciate other needle women of days gone by: Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts.

Loved best the
~ red
~ variety of design
~ how they were exhibited.
~ Meg's company and enthusiasm

This design is called COURTHOUSE STEPS

All these precise renditions of patterns please me ~ but also made me feel my anarchist design tendency to BREAK FREE ... next afghan blanket I crochet will NOT follow a pattern too closely.

The American Folk Art Museum has dramatically transformed the Park Avenue Armory with the installation of 651 red and white American quilts, all of which are on loan from the collection of Joanna S. Rose.

“My husband asked me what I wanted,” she said, referring to her husband, Daniel, the chairman of Rose Associates, a real estate development company. “I told him, two things: something I had never seen before, and a gift for New York City. I thought, one thing I’ve never seen is these quilts all at once."

NY Times article goes into more detail.
This site has a short film about the exhibition.

Also, please note that these photographs were not taken by me, but culled from various Internet sources, including Flickr.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Knitted Wonderland

The trees outside the Blanton Museum of Art on the University of Texas at Austin got yarn bombed during the weekend of March 6th.

Knitta Please and a team of over 140 Austin crafters covered each of the 99 trees in the Blanton’s Faulkner Plaza with knitting or crochet. The project, titled A Knitted Wonderland, is in collaboration with UT’s Blanton Museum of Art.

I dig it. But because it is a little too neat, orderly and matching, I don't absolutely LOVE it.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Today's treat: A Textile Trip

The Metropolitan Museum has a new exhibit on South American Tunics and also was showing a couple of films for Women's History Month: a film about Indian Embroidery and a film about Quilts.

The Andean Tunic, 400 BCE–1800 CE

Featuring about thirty Andean tunics, the exhibition examines the form of the tunic, which held an important cultural place in Andean South America for centuries.

Some of these exquisite tunics were made of cotton from the plains near the Pacific and some of wool, from the llamas up in the Andes.

Through the Eye of a Needle: Stories from an Indian Desert (2005)

Directed by Charllotte Kwon, describes how a group of craftswomen from western India continue their tradition of embroidery.

This beautifully shot film was a pleasure to watch. I learned the history and process of the craft and the current successful cooperative these women are part of. What I wanted to learn more about, that the film did not address, was the art and the artists. The embroiderers were referred to as "artisans". Does that mean there was no innovation, only continuing the traditional patterns that their foremothers had always worked on?

Quilts in Women's Lives (1980)
Directed by Pat Ferrero, presents six quiltmakers from various backgrounds, who discuss their art and its meaning in their lives.

These women were unquestionably artists, creating their own designs and using the cloth as a form of expression.

One of the quilters made a good point. She was speaking about how we buy yard goods, cut them up and sew them back together. "Ridiculous," she called that process... and yet... humans are drawn to patterns, like mandalas.