December 3, 2015
BMA Presents Extraordinary Art Quilts On View For The First Time
New Arrivals exhibition features works by leading textile artists with strong ties to Baltimore
BALTIMORE, MD (December 3, 2015)—The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) presents five striking late-20th century art quilts on view for the first time. On view December 16, 2015–June 19, 2016, New Arrivals: Art Quilts is one of nine exhibitions in a series celebrating the museum’s enormously successful Campaign for Art. The intricately designed, vibrant quilts were created for display on the wall, rather than a bed, by some of the nation’s most acclaimed textile artists, including Baltimore-native Adrien Rothschild, currently based in Pennsylvania, and the late Elizabeth Scott, who lived in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.
Scott’s esoterically appliquéd and stitched Plantation (1980) gives an abstract depiction of both the night sky and the furrowed earth as remembered from her childhood in South Carolina. Rothschild, who was influenced by the paintings of her mother, Amalie Rothschild, and the work of M.C. Escher, created Purple Mountains (1991), an abstractly pictorial quilt of forested mountains, sky, and sun that synthesizes her love of color and geometric design.
The intimate exhibition features works by the foremost proponent of the art quilt, Michael James. James trained as a painter and print maker but was inspired by an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American art to change his medium. His stunning Metamorphosis (1983) quilt plays with color transitions and the transformation of space. Another painter turned quilt artist, Pamela Studstill, is represented by an elaborately pieced and painted quilt, #76 (1988), which is accompanied by the original commission drawing and fabric swatches.
The most adventurous quilt is Gayle Fraas and Duncan Slade’s Marsh Island (1986). This work challenges the traditional definition of quilts by blending architectural and textile elements for a triptych composed of painted plywood panels surrounding dye-painted and quilted cloth insets.
The exhibition is curated by Curator of Textiles Anita Jones.
New Arrivals Series
The BMA’s enormously successful Campaign for Art has secured more than 4,000 objects during the past decade in honor of the museum’s 100th anniversary in 2014. These gifts have joined the museum’s renowned collection—now 95,000 objects—most of which came from generous donors in this community like Claribel and Etta Cone, Jacob Epstein, and Saidie A. May. To celebrate these new gifts and their donors, the BMA is presenting a series of New Arrivals exhibitions and installations in nearly every area of the museum from September 2015 through May 2016.
About the Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 97,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.