Friday, May 17, 2013

Antique Quilts Exhibit

Mona Bismarck, 1897-1983, married five times, acquired money from her 3rd husband and took the title of countess from her 4th husband, founded many institutions including the one in Paris named after her, created to strengthen ties between the United States and France.

Until May 19 at the Mona Bismarck American Center for art and culture, you can view an exhibit of 25 antique quilts from the United States.

Covering the window is a paper reproduction of the crib-size, pineapple quilt from 1870
made by Ethelind Amelia Washburn

I enjoyed seeing the minute(!) quilt stitches, the perfect appliquéd circles of the Cherry Tree Quilt, 1925, by Naomi Beckwith, the signatures of the makers in 1889 on the Drunkard's Path blocks, the embroidered stitches in the Crazy Quilt fans on a black sateen background from 1900 and the fine netting carefully laid over the damaged fabrics of the pieced quilts.

Union Quilt, 1885.
The majestic eagle has been a symbol of  the USA
since the late 18th century. In this quilt, the artist's
interpretation of the eagle is more "like a
common farmyard fowl". (quote from curator)
Still nice though.

My favourite quilt in the exhibit was the hot pink velvet, 6-inch squares set on-point, mixed with green velvet squares with the long, uneven quilt stitches in white coloured thread, going in no particular direction. It was free and unconstrained. It was a Gees Bend quilt with personality and interest. Not copied, not reproduced. Original.

Exhibited in the second gallery, gouache works by American artist, Zoe Pettijohn Schade, continued with the geometric form found in the antique patchworks. Since curating a few exhibits, I am becoming more aware of curators' choices. The paper works provided a contemporary counterpoint to the quilt exhibit.

And now for something completely different

I noticed this artwork on the way out of the Chanel No. 5 exhibit at the Palais de Tokyo.

John Giorno, Just Say No to Family Values, 2012, paint.
Graffiti by Lek and Sowat.

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