ALL AMERICAN from the Collection
November 13, 2018 — ongoing
This installation of American work from the Museum’s permanent collection is organized by medium or theme, in six galleries as follows: Chairs; Metal; Ceramics; Portraits (Men and Women); American Quilts; Crystal and Glass. Galleries are densely installed, with portraits hung chronologically and “salon-style,” reflecting the pre-20th century installation practice of European great houses and museums. The exhibition is organized by medium or theme to better demonstrate the innovative use of materials and mediums by American artists, designers and craftsmen throughout history. The installations include works by notable figures in the history of art and design, as well as lesser known artists.
The ceramics collection and the quilt collection are the newest installations within this gallery. The quilts on view are Crazy Quilts, which were were inspired by the Japanese exhibit at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. Women were inspired by the style and patterns they saw in that exhibition and used that inspiration to transform quilts from carefully planned compositions of geometric shapes into random shapes seemingly stitched willy-nilly. They bought rich silks, velvets, and satins to make their crazy quilts as deeply colorful and rich as they could be. To read more about the Crazy Quilts, check out our Stories from the Collection.
The ceramics exhibition now on view explores what happens when artists use classic ceramic forms as a starting point to push the boundaries of their own creativity. Certain common themes emerge: fish, birds, architecture, and the human figure. Plan your visit to see the entire exhibition in MMofA’s Katherine C. Cochrane Gallery of American Art.